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AARP ranks Maryland 12th for long-term care

A Rhode Island judge last month denied a nursing home’s motion to compel arbitration in a wrongful death suit, finding the patient lacked the mental capacity to enter into the binding agreement.  (Thinkstock)

Maryland improved its ranking in the most recent long-term care study released Wednesday by the American Association of Retired Persons. (Thinkstock)

Maryland ranked 12th in the country for providing long-term care in an AARP scorecard released Wednesday. The state improved its position from 2014, when it ranked 23rd.

The AARP scorecard, compiled in conjunction with The Commonwealth Fund and The Scan Foundation, ranks states based on how they perform in five categories: affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, support for family caregivers, and effective transitions.

Maryland performed best in the affordability and access dimension of the report, meaning it is easier for consumers to find care and, if they cannot afford it, the state has an appropriate safety net.

However, like most other states, Maryland showed no major changes in the dimension’s underlying indicators. While the state did not decline, it also did not show improvement in any of the areas measured.

The AARP said that lack of improvement by most states was one of the most significant findings of the report.

“Overall, states have made incremental improvements but must pick up the pace of change to meet the needs of a growing number of people aging and living with disabilities,” the report said.  “The cost of LTSS over time remains much higher than what middle-income families can afford, and most adults do not have private long-term care insurance.”

Maryland’s worst performance was in the category of choice of setting and provider, where the state ranked 34th in the country.

Generally, the compilers of the report expressed concerns that as baby boomers age there may not be enough resources to help take care of them. Those concerns have been exacerbated by the proposed cuts to Medicaid at the federal level.

“Medicaid covered most of the long-term services and supports, both through community-based services and nursing home care,” said Susan Reinhard, director of AARP’s public policy wing. “At the moment it’s even that much more important that we draw attention both to the performance and the services because these services are at great risk with the potential for replacement of the Affordable Care Act.”

Washington state ranked best in the 50-state ranking, overtaking Minnesota, which had been first in two previous scorecards released in 2014 and 2011.

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