What is LTSS?
Also referred to as long-term care (LTC), long-term services and supports (LTSS) encompasses a broad range of services by paid or unpaid caregivers that assist people who have limitations in their ability to care for themselves due to a physical, cognitive, or chronic health condition that is expected to continue for at least 90 days.
A person who needs LTSS often requires assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, and walking and/or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) including meal preparation, money management, house cleaning, medication management, and transportation. LTSS may include hands-on assistance, supervision, cueing or standby assistance as well as assistive technologies and devices.
Source: Long-Term Care Fundamentals No. 1: An Overview of Long-Term Care in California. The SCAN Foundation, November 2010.
Why is LTSS Important?
When it comes down to it, quality LTSS should make it easier for older adults and those with physical disabilities to live as independently as possible, and remain in their homes and communities where they prefer to be.
Family and other unpaid caregivers (e.g., friends, neighbors, etc.) are the bedrock of any state LTSS system, providing nearly $470 billion in unpaid care. Any LTSS system should ensure that caregivers have access to the support they need. The Scorecard highlights the essential policies that can better support caregivers.
How does the Scorecard work?
The Scorecard utilizes five categories, called dimensions, to measure state-level LTSS performance.
Affordability and access: consumers can easily find and afford the services they need, and there is a safety net for those who cannot afford services.
Choice of setting and provider: a person-centered approach to LTSS places high value on allowing consumers to exercise choice and control over where they receive services and who provides them.
Quality of life and quality of care: services maximize positive outcomes and consumers are treated with respect.
Support for family caregivers: the needs of family caregivers are assessed and addressed so that they can continue in their caregiving role without being overburdened.
Effective transitions: LTSS are arranged to integrate effectively with health care and social services, minimizing disruptions such as hospitalizations, institutionalizations, and transitions between settings.
Download the FAQs for Individuals and Families as a PDF.