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High priorities.

States continue to target long term care

STATE LEGISLATURES CONTINUE TO FOCUS on the needs of those in long term care, according to a survey of 48 states released in December from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Helping the elderly gain access to prescription drugs was considered a legislative priority for 29 states. And in the coming year, 25 states foresee further debate of Medicaid drug coverage. Although only 15 percent of the tobacco settlement funds have been allocated, 8 percent are targeted for long term care, especially pharmaceutical assistance.

Twenty-nine states surveyed said they'll weigh measures related to assisted living. Many are also promoting the purchase of long term care insurance, with 25 states identifying related tax credits and deductions as 2000 legislative priorities.

In 1999, about 40 states passed nearly 175 nursing home-related laws. Quality of care, elder abuse, licensing, bed supply, and staffing ratios were cited as common areas of concern.
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Author:WERESZYNSKI, KATHLEEN
Publication:Contemporary Long Term Care
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Words:155
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