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Long-Term Care Report Expected in Waning Days of Corbett Administration

A commission tasked with examining the long-term care system in Pennsylvania is prepared to submit its recommendations to Gov. Tom Corbett but not before it has one more meeting.

The Long-Term Care Commission was formed in January of this year and has until Dec. 31 to report to the governor on issues including illness prevention and caregiver support, accessibility, provision of services and quality outcomes and management.

Bonnie Rose, deputy secretary for the Office of Long-Term Living, said the commission will have the report on Corbett’s desk ahead of the deadline.

Though she wouldn’t reveal specific recommendations outlined in the report, Rose said the commission concluded that Pennsylvania needs to make changes to the system to assure it’s sustainable.

“[The commission] learned about some of the complexities surrounding the system, what is available and what isn’t perhaps available,” Rose said. “There was a great deal of discussion about what services should be available.”

By 2015, one in four individuals in Pennsylvania will be 60 years of age or older. As the number of people over age 85 continues to grow, the state is the fourth “grayest” in the country.

“The need for services is going to continue to increase and Pennsylvania needs to be prepared for not only the over-85s, but the baby boomers that are now in their 60s and aging,” Rose said.

The commission is also looking at care provided to people of all ages with disabilities.

The 25-member commission met nine times this year, with the last meeting slated for Dec. 15. Rose said she hopes Corbett will agree with the recommendations.

Then, she says, everyone can move forward to answer one significant question.

“How do we move forward in further exploring and expanding upon those recommendations toward implementation of some changes?” Rose asked.

Corbett will leave Office Jan 20, 2015 as Tom Wolf takes the oath of office.