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NGA TO ASSIST States develop Community-based care options at Policy Ac

Home > Committees > Public Policy > Public Policy Updates > NGA to Assist States develop Community-based Care Options at Policy Academy

September 26, 2006


WASHINGTON-The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices announced today that is has selected eight states to participate in Rebalancing Long-Term Care Systems Toward Quality Community Living and Healthy Aging, a new NGA policy academy. Through the academy, NGA experts will work with high-level state teams from Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia to help build customized strategies to increase community-living options and decrease the need for institutional care.

The academy will kickoff in August with a meeting in Denver. There, teams will begin the interactive process of designing state-specific plans to create more balanced health care delivery systems that will help states maximize consumer choice, improve access to home and community-based services and programs, and reduce long-term case bias and costs-all within the states' current fiscal constraints. Participating teams will also examine strategies to enhance community infrastructure by developing and organizing community care system services, addressing the mental health and substance abuse issues, and promoting healthy aging.

'With Medicaid accounting for 21 percent of all state spending, the need to provide alternatives to institutional care is critical for states,' said John Thomasian, director for NGA's Center for Best Practices. 'But with states' costs for health care spiraling out of control, those alternatives must be both fiscally sound and innovative. This academy provides the perfect opportunity for states to learn from each other about strategies for success.'

Before and after this academy meeting, NGA Center staff will visit the eight states to assist the teams with planning and implementation. The site visits will also allow NGA staff to identify what has-and has not-worked so that state best practices can be shared with governors across the country.

'Governors know that people want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible,' said Diane Braunstein, the NGA Center program director responsible for managing the policy academy. 'This academy will help states find ways to rebalance their long-term care systems away from institutional care and toward community living.

'After the academy, governors will be encouraged to apply for a $48,000 grant to help defray the costs of implementing his or her state's plan in 2005. This policy academy is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are all agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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The NGA Center for Best Practices, the nation's leading authority on state innovation, helps governors and their policy advisors develop and implement effective solutions to governance and policy challenges facing them in their states. The Center provides tailored technical assistance, tracks and evaluates state innovations and best practices, and helps governors and their staffs develop cutting-edge solutions.

NGA, founded in 1908, is the instrument through which the nation's governors collectively influence the development and implementation of national policy and apply creative leadership to state issues. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories, and two commonwealths. For more information about NGA and the Center for Best Practices, please visit www.nga.org.