- When someone says “sign here, here, and here” and doesn’t explain your choices and doesn’t let you read anything, do you feel like you’re making an individualized plan for your long term health care or signing for a package delivery?
- When a nursing home loses its certification, who makes the decision on where the residents move? Is there a law in place protecting their right to say goodbye to friends and gather their personal belongings before they’re transferred to a new facility?
- Who should be allowed in on your health care planning meetings? Just you and the health plan? Your adult child? Your partner? Your long-time health aide?
Person-centered planning encompasses the idea that the individual is at the heart of all decisions about services, supports, and care. When people are given the opportunity to choose where, how, and by whom they receive their care; and make their own decisions about mealtime, bedtime, which activities they engage in, and generally direct their own lives to the greatest extent possible, they have better health outcomes, more independence, and lead more fulfilling lives. But there is still a lack of clarity about what exactly person-centered planning is and how to make sure it is delivered. All too often, people receive bare-bones or one-size-fits-all service plans, instead of the personal, tailored care everyone deserves. Decisions people can and would like to make themselves are often made by others, and plans are sometimes cursory and driven by the needs of the health plans, government agencies, or providers, rather than by the needs and desires of the consumer.
To learn more about person-centered planning in Medicaid LTSS, check out this new Justice in Aging issue brief: A Right to Person-Centered Planning. We also presented an accompanying webinar. Justice in Aging conducted the research for this project through the support of the John A. Hartford Foundation. This is the beginning exploration of a dynamic world of person-centered care planning and is an invitation to consumers, advocates, state agencies, health plans, and providers to work together to create better rules, better language, and better understanding of what is necessary to ensure a right to person centered care.