Long-Term Care: Providing Compassion Without Confusion

Report #140, December 1996

OVERVIEW

While the State has taken some preliminary steps towards restructuring the long-term care services it provides to consumers, Californians needing long-term care still face a bewildering maze of choices.

This report, which is the culmination of an in-depth 11-month study, contains four findings: the State’s current oversight structure is too fragmented to allow effective coordination and integration of long-term care services; many of the State’s policies favor expensive institutionalization at the expense of home and community-based services preferred by consumers; despite new federal regulations, consumers continue to take issue with the quality of care in skilled nursing facilities; and regulatory change has not kept pace with the changing demands placed on residential care facilities.

The report offers 24 recommendations to address these problems, including consolidating long-term care into a single state agency, increasing resources for programs that delay institutionalization, and strengthening the consumer complaint systems now in place for skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities.