Testimony Before The Senate Human Services Committee
Judy Lee, Chairman
SCR 4030 - Study of the delivery of long-term care services in North Dakota
February 9, 2005
Chairman Lee, members of the committee, I am David Zentner, Director of Medical Services for the Department of Human Services. I appear before you to support this resolution.
The Department has promoted the use of home and community based care services (HCBS) for many years. We believe that most individuals would prefer to receive long-term care services in their homes or in the community. While the use of HCBS is desirable, many challenges including geography, funding and availability of qualified providers must be overcome.
In addition, the number of elderly individuals over age 85 will increase by 9,000 over the next 15 years, a dramatic increase as this group is the most likely to require long term care services. We must plan to meet the needs of these individuals so that care can be delivered in the least restrictive environment possible. If we do not develop a comprehensive plan to meet the long term care needs in the community, it will likely result in increased use of expensive nursing facility care in future years.
A comprehensive study of the current long term care system and recommendations to improve the delivery of HCBS would assist the Department as we plan to provide needed services in the future.
The Department supports this resolution and recommends a do pass.
I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.