The Buzz

News on transforming care for older adults

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October29 th

The Better Care Playbook is a resource that helps the complex care field find promising approaches to better care for people with complex health and social needs. To ensure the Playbook is highlighting the right information for you, take the survey.

October15 th

This week, ATI Advisory released analysis on Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan Year 2021 data. Some 738 plans are offering non-medical supplemental benefits in 2021, an increase of 48 percent from 2020.

Recently, AARP released the fourth edition of the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard. It provides comparable data in order for state leaders, stakeholders, and others to benchmark performance, measure progress, and identify key areas of improvement.

See how California ranked, and read our policy brief. Read related coverage from McKnight’s Senior Living.

October13 th

New polling from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC) shows that more than one-third of U.S. family caregivers have seen their responsibilities increase due to COVID-19. Yet, 2020 has not led to any heightened awareness when it comes to preparations for growing older or providing support to others.

A related Associated Press article further distills caregivers’ current experiences. Bar graphs depicting percentages of older adults using new service options.

This Better Care Playbook blog features insights from interviews with more than 50 leaders in the field, each who share their perspectives on balancing margin versus mission tensions in complex care.

September30 th

The Better Care Playbook is continually being updated to better meet users’ needs, and several exciting changes are coming this fall. As they continue to refine their approach, they want to hear from you. Take the survey.

September24 th

Today, AARP unveiled the findings of the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard. This fourth edition measures state performance for creating a high-quality system across five dimensions: Affordability and Access, Choice of Setting and Provider, Quality of Life and Quality of Care, Support for Family Caregivers, and Effective Transitions.

The LTSS State Scorecard provides comparable data in order for state leaders, stakeholders, and others to benchmark performance, measure progress, and identify key areas of improvement.

California ranked ninth overall on the 2020 LTSS State Scorecard, maintaining the same rank from 2017. Our latest policy brief provides an overview of the state’s Scorecard performance and key recommendations for transforming its LTSS system to better serve older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.

Symbol of California and list of scorecard rankings

September16 th

Please join us for the virtual release of Advancing Action: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers from 10-11:30 am PT on Thursday, September 24. Register here.

This fourth edition of the LTSS State Scorecard measures state level data, policies, practices, and costs to compare system performance and set benchmarks for future reform. Check out the 2017 edition of the Scorecard.

August26 th

Community health workers (CHWs) are health professionals who connect the communities they serve with needed health and social services. The Better Care Playbook curated this diverse set of recent resources for health care organizations interested in developing and expanding CHW programs.

August19 th

To help us navigate the challenges of a pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is encouraging states to allow for a family member to serve in a paid caregiver role. This blog is part of a series of posts in advance of the 2020 release of the next Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard.


August4 th

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought policy flexibilities that can array a better care roadmap for adults with complex needs. These resources highlight how Medicare and Medicaid changes are transforming care for older adults and people with disabilities.

  • NEW: Health Management Associates describes federal Medicare and Medicaid changes during the pandemic (co-funded with The Commonwealth Fund).
  • Manatt Health examines how states are using flexibilities to improve long-term services and supports (LTSS).
  • Our TSF brief unpacks how California is using these for person-centered care.

Finally, a new Better Care Playbook blog post shares how learnings can foster health care and LTSS renovation, “making lemonade from a very sour lemon.”

July22 nd

Learn about a complex care management program that lowered costs and improved outcomes for people with complex care needs by adding key members to individuals’ care workers with masks

July14 th

For years, there has been a push toward rebalancing, or moving long-term services and supports (LTSS) service delivery away from institutions and toward home- and community-based settings. AARP recently discussed states’ progress.

July8 th

A new guide and worksheet from the Aging and Disability Business Institute and the National Council on Aging help community-based organizations (CBOs) develop value propositions to promote their services to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

July1 st
June24 th

Our latest policy brief takes a closer look at how California has implemented federal flexibilities to ensure the state’s long-term services and supports (LTSS) system is responsive to the needs of older adults and people with disabilities during the pandemic. Earlier this month, Manatt Health reviewed how other states have responded to meet LTSS needs.

Bar graph depicting the percentage of U.S. COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Age Group