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Aging in America: Transforming Long Term Care Post-Event Report
Each year, Genworth Financial hosts a symposium in Washington, DC to convene
conversation surrounding a long term care issue. This year’s event took place on Capitol
Hill in the Senate Hart Building in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2016, with the theme
of Aging in America: Transforming Long Term Care. The half-day event featured panels of
experts in the long term care (LTC) financing and technology fields. Each panel focused on
a different element of LTC financing and delivery, including new LTC financing proposals
released this year, and how innovative technologies can help with the delivery and ease of
care.

Genworth President and CEO Tom
McInerney welcomed the audience and
kicked off the event with opening remarks.
He spoke about the high stakes
surrounding long term care – 10,000
people turn 65 every day, and the majority
of these people will need some type of
long term care service during their
lifetime. However, he said, only
approximately eight percent of the
population owns long term care insurance,
posing a serious problem to those who
experience a long term care event with no way to fund it. In order to combat this,
McInerney explained, the focus must shift to innovative ways to help improve the financing
and delivery of long term care, including new technologies.
McInerney also discussed solutions to the long term care crisis in an op-ed published in
The Hill prior to the event, outlining the need for reform and encouraging collaboration
between all stakeholders.
Program moderator Anne Tumlinson,
Founder of Daughterhood, began by
providing insights based on her expertise
in the long term care industry and her
personal experience with caregiving.
Tumlinson also emphasized the need for a
discussion about the relationship between
financing and innovation, explaining that
the panels convened would provide new
and unique perspectives into the financing
and delivery of long term care. She noted
that innovation and technology have the

potential to make insurance more affordable by lowering the cost of care, and that an LTC
financing system has the potential to attract investment and capital to develop technology
that will support the lives of aging Americans.

Gordon
Saunders,
Senior
Brand
Marketing Manager at Genworth, then
gave an overview of Genworth’s 2016
Cost of Care Survey, highlighting the
financial burdens that many Americans
and their families experience when faced
with a long term care event. He outlined
the potential reasons for increases in cost
of care, and explained the trends that
Genworth has observed through its survey
of more than 15,000 people in 440 regions
across the country. He ended his
presentation with a question to the audience – what financing proposals and solutions can
be developed to improve private and public coverage, as well as reduce or slow the rising
cost of long term care?
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) shared his
experiences fighting to make LTC issues
a priority at the state level as a senator
in Pennsylvania, noting that the LTC
crisis is both a challenge as well as an
opportunity. Pennsylvania is one of the
top five states with the largest
population of Americans over 50 years
old, and as such, the state has a unique
obligation to improve and protect long
term care for this group.

LTC Financing: Proposals to Improve Public and Private Coverage

Katherine Hayes, Director of Health Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, kicked off the
first panel by sharing a personal story of her experience with caregiving and by
encouraging the room to remember that long term care touches everyone’s life in some
way. Hayes explained that federal leaders are currently reluctant to overturn state
insurance laws, but that policymakers and key players should continue focusing on making
long term care insurance more affordable, despite the many challenges that come with that
goal.
Gretchen Alkema, Vice President of Policy and Communications at The SCAN Foundation,
continued the conversation by noting that as taxpayers, as caregivers or through our own
future needs – everyone is already “all in” and has a stake in the long term care crisis.

Alkema noted that long term care expenditures are currently organized in the “most
inefficient” way possible, and that families and individuals are unfortunately shouldering
the burden most when it comes to long term care. In order to solve this crisis, we must
make real, tangible recommendations to our leaders, she said.

Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, spoke on behalf of the LTC
Financing Collaborative. He began by giving the audience a background on the
Collaborative, explaining that the organization’s goals include improving autonomy of
choice and delivery and increasing
support for both paid caregivers and
those in the home. Gleckman said
that after much deliberation,
members of the Collaborative
realized that they needed to
determine what the LTC “system”
was, and what exactly needed to be
financed. He also noted the
importance of remembering that if
we want to transition from a
welfare-based
system
to
an
insurance system, a certain portion
of the population will be unable to afford any type of long term care insurance policy.
Because of this, any system put in place will need to be flexible.

The panel also held a discussion about the possibilities of a universal insurance-based
system. Gleckman acknowledged that there have been conversations about entitlement
reform, but stated that one cannot consider Medicaid reform without also considering long
term care insurance. When asked what policymakers can do to build off of Medicare or
another program and make care more accessible for Americans, Hayes responded that
there are three things that can be done in the next year to make improvements to the
current system: revising the current LTC insurance market; streamlining and simplifying
waivers to encourage states to offer community-based care; and allowing plans and
providers to use Medicare dollars to pay for things Medicaid cannot finance.
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (RNC) joined the symposium and
discussed the “design for dignity”
concept – developing policies that allow
seniors to live in an independent, safe
and comfortable environment as they
age. Tillis explained that doesn’t
necessarily mean heavily funded
government programs, but policies can
be developed to encourage innovative
private-sector solutions to the long term
care crisis.

Technology and Innovation: The Future of LTC Delivery
Terry Bradwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Enterprise Strategy & Innovation
Officer at AARP, began the second panel by referencing AARP’s recent report, “The
Longevity Economy,” a look at how America’s population of 50 and older consumers
impacts the economy. This report found that there is a growing, yet under-appreciated,
market to help improve the lives of aging Americans, and that caregivers and family
members have the desire to use technology to help their loved ones age. Bradwell gave a
brief overview of products currently in the marketplace that are helping older Americans,
including SmartSole, a GPS insert that can non-invasively track Alzheimer’s patients with a
tendency to wander; an easy release seatbelt that informs caregivers if people susceptible
to falls attempt to stand up without assistance; and GreatCall Lively, a wearable device that
provides more dignity than a traditional wearable alarm.
Majd Alwan, Senior Vice President of
Technology and Executive Director of the
LeadingAge Center for Aging Services
Technology (CAST), continued
the
discussion by outlining the care issues
prevalent among older adults and
individuals with disabilities, including falls
and chronic disease management. He
highlighted the key findings of the Office of
the Assistant Secretary for Planning and
Evaluation’s (ASPE) Report to Congress:
Aging Services Technology Study. This
found that technology supports can help manage costly and prevalent conditions, allow
people to thrive in the place they choose and help with social engagement. Alwan also
noted that in the short term, there should be a focus placed on payment and health reform,
as well as emerging technologies to help those 65 and older.

Crispin Baynes, Strategic Advisor for Aging 2.0, discussed his organization’s goal of
improving the lives of older adults. He explained that technology is changing and becoming
more affordable – and that older individuals adapt to technology quicker than we might
think. Baynes stressed that there needs to be a focus on nutrition, health and wellness and
financial planning for older adults, as many “cannot afford to be sick” in our current LTC
environment.

The panelists wrapped up the event by discussing the path forward for technology in the
long term care space. Baynes explained that he believes health care delivery will
dramatically change to become more home-based in the near future, but money and time
are needed to make this a reality. Bradwell added that there should be a focus on
preventative measures to avoid unnecessary costs down the line, and Alwan closed by
explaining what can be done in the short term, including payment and general health care
reform, to innovate on the long term care front.

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Resources and Additional Reading
Genworth’s Cost of Care Interactive Website
Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey: Key Findings and Methodology
Report to Congress: Aging Services Technology Study
Side-by-Side Review of Long-Term Care Financing Policy Recommendations
The Longevity Economy: Generating Economic Growth and New Opportunities for Business


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