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Long-Term Care Services: Administrative Issues

Several administrative challenges are currently facing the development and operation of programs that provide a continuum of long-term care services. Most of these challenges are attributed to the ever-rising number of the elderly population which is often associated with increased cases of disabilities and dependence. For example, a major challenge of developing and operating is the rising expenditures and financial costs of such programs (Sammer, 2011).

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This is because a significant amount of capital and resources are needed to sustain these programs in a manner that the needs of the disabled, as well as the low-income elder people, will be effectively met. Generally, long-term care service programs are constantly facing the challenge of how to effectively develop and operate a viable structure of financing their operations sustainably.

Another key challenge in the operation of the programs that provide a continuum of LTC services is the growing concerns over the rising cases of fraud. This is particularly about the fact that fraudulent activities such as individual billing for services they have never rendered to the LTC services provider agencies are increasingly becoming common. On the other hand, fraud can also take place in form of inappropriate billing of the services and supplies.

Such fraudulent practices can significantly disrupt the operation of long-term care programs. Additionally, with the increased number of people who need long-term care services such as the elderly and the disabled, it is now becoming difficult to coordinate these programs offering these services. This consequently hampers the provision of a continuum of long-term care services by the providers. The other causes of the administrative challenges related to the coordination of these programs include lack of effective communication between the administrators and sometimes the conflicting advice from healthcare specialists.

Long-term care administrators are also faced with the challenges related to the absence of evidence-based quality in the development of programs providing a continuum of long-term care services. This problem is particularly a result of the little scientific foundation in the long-term healthcare management fields. Consequently, the administrators are often unable to effectively measure the quality of the services provided by their programs (Burns, 2006).

More research is therefore needed particularly on the various indicators of quality long-term care processes. Additionally, the use of better tools of quality measurements will also help improve the standards of LTC services. On the other hand, most of the structures used in the provision of long-term healthcare services such as nursing homes and hospitals are increasingly undergoing significant transformations. As a result of the consequent realignments, the administrators of the programs offering a continuum of LTC services are experiencing the challenge of how to effectively adapt to the changing environment. For example, administrators are now required to redesign their programs in a way that they effectively respond to the emerging needs of our rising elderly population.

References

Burns, B. (2006) Comparing Long-Term Care Insurance Policies: Bewildering Choices for Consumers, 4, 2, 23-28.

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Sammer, J. (2011). Securing the future of Long-Term Care. HRMagazine,56.8, 54-58.

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