December 6, 2023

Long-term care challenges require federal attention: panel

McKnights Senior Living

Determining assisted living’s value is part of a “significant and unavoidable issue” that thrust the sector under a hot national spotlight recently, thanks to a KFF Health News / New York Times series examining the struggles of the middle class to access and pay for long-term care.

The “Dying Broke” series, published in November, was the focus of a panel discussionTuesday that included a policy expert, and reporters and families involved in the series. Collectively, the panelists provided potential policy solutions to address the long-term care industry challenges highlighted in the series.

Meanwhile, letters from senior housing and living leaders to the New York Times made it clear that they think assisted living is part of the answer, not the cause of a problem.

Part one of the series examined America’s high long-term care costs, including how they compare to other countries. Part two looked at the high costs and profits of assisted living facilities. Part three pondered the shortcomings of long-term care insurance.

In a letter to the editor submitted Nov. 21 by Argentum to the New York Times, president and CEO James Balda applauded the outlet for recognizing that assisted living is more cost-effective than nursing homes and in-home care. But he said the series failed to recognize that “senior residents and their families overwhelmingly love assisted living.”

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