Efforts among many Minnesotans to help older adults and people with disabilities live at home and receive high-quality services positioned the state to rank first again on a national scorecard. Minnesota was named number one among states today on the 2014 State Long Term Services and Support Scorecard, sponsored by the AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The Scan Foundation. Gov. Mark Dayton applauded the news.
"As Minnesotans, we believe in providing our parents, grandparents, and people with disabilities the best possible care," said Governor Dayton. "I thank the many thousands of Minnesotans, who have worked very hard over the last several years to provide the high quality services upon which our citizens depend."
Minnesota scored in the top 25 percent among states in the five areas measured: affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, support for family caregivers and effective transitions. Minnesota also ranked first when the scorecard was originally produced in 2011.
Efforts to improve the state's long-term services and support system include:
* New incentives for providers to increase quality
* More help for people who want to move from nursing homes and other congregate settings to homes of their own
* More comprehensive information and referral services for individuals and family caregivers
* Support for core community services that help people stay in their homes
* More flexibility for consumers in choosing supports tailored to their needs
* Promotion of competitive employment for people with disabilities
* A stronger adult protection system; and
* Own Your Future, an initiative that encourages Minnesotans to plan for their long-term care and is now exploring new ways Minnesotans can finance this care.
"We are pleased Minnesota has maintained the top ranking even as we strive to make services better and better," said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. "This reflects the commitment Minnesota families, providers and others have to help people live independently with high-quality services and to transform services to meet the growing needs of baby boomers."
An executive summary released with the scorecard states that where a person lives matters because large differences exist across states in how well they prepare for future demands on long-term services and supports. "A few states stand out for leading the way," the report says. "We need to learn from these states, bring more national solutions to the table, and pick up the pace of change."