HARRISBURG, Pa., March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly Mackereth and Secretary of Aging Brian Duke today met for the first time with members of the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission in an organizational meeting.
Governor Tom Corbett established the 25-member commission by executive order on Jan. 31, 2014. In future meetings, the group will review the current long-term care system and develop recommendations to ensure the system and its services are person-centered, efficient, effective and fiscally accountable.
"The state spends more than $4.7 billion each year on Medicaid long-term care services, and the demand continues to grow," Mackereth said. "The Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission will help us look at ways that will improve our long-term care delivery system, which provides options for older adults and individuals with physical disabilities to remain active in their communities."
The commission was part of Governor Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan to ensure access to quality, affordable health care. The group will focus on improving the current long-term care system, including identifying effective ways to provide better coordinated methods of administering long-term care programs and services and ensuring quality health care for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with disabilities.
"As our older population continues to grow, the need for a coordinated, person-centered long-term care system is essential in making certain those in need receive services at the right time, in the right setting and at the right level of intensity," said Duke. "Our meeting today was the start of a process that will help shape long-term care in Pennsylvania for the future."
By 2015, one in four individuals in the state will be 60 years of age and older while the population of Pennsylvanians 85 and older continues to grow. In 2011, the overall percentage of working age people, ages 21 to 64, with a disability in Pennsylvania was 11.4 percent, or almost 830,000 individuals.
The commission will soon set and publicize meeting dates and locations around the state to gain public input as part of the planning process.
Commission members have until Dec. 31, 2014 to submit their recommendations to the governor.
For more information on the commission and its activities, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contacts: Eric Kiehl, DPW, 717-425-7606
Christina Reese, Aging, 717-783-1550
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare