As Ohio’s population ages at a swift rate, the state must ensure that aging services are a priority. The Governor’s budget proposal does not cut aging services, and provides some needed increases to home and community based waiver programs. However, the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging is greatly concerned about the Governor’s proposal to move the state’s Medicaid waiver program for Ohioans aged 60 and older (known as PASSPORT) to managed care.
Larke Recchie, CEO of the Association, stated that moving PASSPORT to managed care is premature. “Ohio has only just begun to explore long term services and supports in managed care. We are only in year 3 of a five year demonstration program bringing Medicare, Medicaid and long term services and supports together under the umbrella of managed care and the learning curve has been very steep.“
She added, “The effectiveness of the PASSPORT Program is well-established. Without an evaluation of the long term services components in the demonstration program, we don’t know whether there have been cost savings, improved health care outcomes, and more efficient delivery of waiver services than currently exist with PASSPORT.”
She concluded, “if the state wants to move to expand managed care for long term services and supports across the state, it would be best to wait until we have evidence that such a move is good for older Ohioans and good for the state budget.”