New alliance launched to measure and improve long-term care

January 15, 2010

A group of health, consumer and aging advocates has formed a new alliance to focus on long-term services and supports in the United States.

A group of health, consumer and aging advocates has formed a new alliance to focus on long-term services and supports in the United States. The Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) aims to broaden efforts to improve quality of care to include community-based settings as well as nursing homes. It plans to do so by fostering “person-centered” quality measures for people who need long-term services and supports to enhance their quality of life, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and utilizations, and decrease costs.

The LTQA Board is comprised of 29 representatives from organizations representing caregivers, consumers, quality improvement, nursing homes, accreditation, aging issues, foundations, the federal government, private payers, and academia (see the full list below). The group was formed to respond to the increasing demand for long-term care and the expanding field of providers who are delivering that care, including in home- and community-based settings such as assisted living facilities and adult day care.

“Within a decade, every Baby Boomer will be 50-plus - and trends indicate that nearly half of Americans who live to be 65 will enter a nursing home at some point,” says LTQA Board Member Mark Leenay, M.S., M.D., who is also senior vice president of Medical Management and Physician Services for Ovations and Chief Medical Officer for Evercare Hospice, United Health Group. “Yet a recent study published by AARP found that many in this generation believe they will never need long-term care. Given the obvious disconnect between people’s expectations and the realities of growing older, a prevailing strategy continues to be educating the aging population and their future caregivers about the importance of long-term planning - both from a personal financial and a quality of life perspective.”

The Alliance will focus initially on two important health care issues that have been identified as national health priorities: how to improve care coordination or transitions in care, and how to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions among frail and chronically ill people.

The group will hold its first formal meeting on January 28 at the Brookings Institution and will operate as a membership organization.

“In addition to educating people, we must continue to develop an individualized, person-centered approach to care,” says Leenay. “This integration of services has shown to lower hospital admission rates and reduce total hospital days and ER visits. Importantly, it also promotes independence, ensures continuity of care and empowers families to make informed decisions. This person-centered model is helping people live healthier lives and, over the long term, is critical to reducing health care costs. It is the future.”

LTQA board members include:

Mary D. Naylor, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. (Chair)
Director, NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Brian J. Boon, Ph.D.
President and CEO, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)/Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC)

Amy Boutwell, M.D., M.P.P.
Director of Strategic Improvement Policy, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Bruce Allen Chernof, M.D., F.A.C.P.
President and CEO, The SCAN Foundation

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Steven Dawson
President, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI)

Judy Feder, Ph.D.
Senior fellow, Center for American Progress

Marty Ford
Director of Legal Advocacy, The Arc and UCP Disability Policy Collaboration

J. Taylor Harden, Ph.D., R.N., G.F.S.A., F.A.A.N.
Chief of the office and assistant to the director for Special Populations at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health

Maureen Hewitt
President and CEO, Total Community Options and Total Longterm Care

Gail Gibson Hunt
President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving

Gail Kass
President and CEO, New Courtland Elder Services

Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant vice president for the Picker/Commonwealth Quality of Care for Frail Elder Care Program, The Commonwealth Fund

Robert G. Kramer
Founder and president, National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC)

Mark Leenay, M.S., M.D.
Senior vice president of Medical Management and Physician Services for Ovations; Chief Medical Officer for Evercare Hospice, United Health Group

Carol Levine
Director of the Families and Health Care Project, United Hospital Fund

Sandy MarkwoodCEO,
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Katie Maslow
Director for Policy Development, Alzheimer’s Association

Mark B. McClellan, M.D. Ph.D.
Director, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform; Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies, Brookings Institution

Paul McGann, M.D.
Deputy chief medical officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ex-officio

William L. (Larry) Minnix, Jr.
President and CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA)

L. Gregory Pawlson, M.D., M.P.H.

Executive vice president, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Carol Raphael
President and CEO, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Susan C. Reinhard, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N.
Senior vice president, AARP

Martha A. Roherty
Executive director, National Association of State Units on Aging

Alan G. Rosenbloom
President, Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care

Jeanette C. Takamura, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Dean, Columbia University School of Social Work

Tom Valuck, M.D., J.D.
Senior vice president, Strategic Partnerships, National Quality Forum (NQF)

Bruce Yarwood
President and CEO, American Health Care Association (AHCA) & National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)