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New report says Indiana needs better long-term care

A new report ranks Indiana near the bottom in the Midwest for long-term care services for seniors and adults with disabilities.

Indiana scored low for affordability and accessibility, for choices of care providers and support for family caregivers.

The report was issued by AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation. It gave Indiana a score of 51. In this report, the lower the score, the better.

Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio were all ranked at least 17 points better than Indiana.

Evan Reinhardt, executive director of the Indiana Association of Home and Hospice Care says that Indiana has increased its number of home health-care workers.

But Reinhardt says it’s hard to compare one state to another.

“It’s very difficult to say that you’re making apples-to-apples comparison between Indiana and Ohio or Indiana and Michigan. Even when you try to control for population factors or other factors that might influence data,” he said.

Indiana has made some progress recently, including more training for providers, case managers, and counselors.

Laura Holscher is executive director of Area 13 Agency on Aging and Disability at Vincennes University. She says she fully expects Indiana will have a better score in the next report.

Holscher says the state has made positive changes, and there has also been a change in the pre-admission process for those seeking long-term care.

“It was outdated, it was over 30 years old, and we hadn’t made any changes to it,” Holscher said. “So we really modernized what we were doing for pre-admission screening and the eligibility, screening people as to whether they should be in the nursing home or whether we could find other services for them.”

The report suggests that to make improvements, another 110,000 adults with disabilities need to have Medicaid coverage. Indiana should also spend more than 1.2 billion dollars on home-based services rather than nursing homes.

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