APRIL 10, 1995 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 40
More proposals considered by Arizona delegates to the White House Conference on Aging (by topic area):
Health Care and Mental Health
- Permit reimbursement for direct care provided by nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, for home care, preventive care and wellness programs.
- Reduce duplication and coordinate services, particularly for those who access special services such as Veteran’s programs, Indian Health Services and Medicaid.
- Control prescription medication costs.
- Avoid rationing of health care by caps on service reimbursement and cost-benefit analysis of the true value of high-cost medical procedures.
- Use excess hospital capacity for alternative services, such as extended care and assisted living.
- Share medical resources, particularly high-tech equipment.
- Consider means-testing Medicare (though a strong minority voice opposed any discussion of such a step).
- Expand health programs to include mental health services.
- Promote greater patient involvement in medical decisions.
- Deal more creatively with substance abuse and suicide among the elderly.
- Encourage medical professionals to work in rural and under served populations.
- Institute a single-payor national health program (though this one did not make it into the final report).
Long Term Care
- Shift emphasis from long term care in medical institutions to home care.
- Provide tax incentives for family caretakers.
- Encourage innovation in state and local programs by granting federal program waivers.
- Promote prevention practices, among both elderly and young.
- Encourage seniors to volunteer in their communities, to help them stay vital and involved.
- Develop a wellness check program for homebound seniors.
- Provide loans and incentives for home repair and adaptation for the homebound elderly.
- Increase recreational programs for the elderly.
- Expand case management programs.
- Provide respite care for family care givers.
- Promote congregate housing alternatives to reduce care costs.
- Promote family and community responsibility for the elderly.
These are just a few of the myriad of suggestions considered by Arizona delegates. Next issue, we will discuss “special populations” and “elder rights.”