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Long-Term Services and Supports in Colorado

Policymakers are increasingly focused on ways to more effectively coordinate and deliver quality long-term services and supports (LTSS) to their Medicaid clients, where the intersection of changing demographics and financial strains are most acute.
Published: November 1, 2011 | Updated: April 19, 2017

Budgets are tightening. The population is aging. And despite sustained efforts to curb health care costs, they continue to head higher. This CHI report looks at the challenges and opportunities in delivering quality long-term services and supports, especially to Medicaid enrollees.

Many individuals who require LTSS have multiple chronic conditions and receive long-term and acute care services in a variety of settings and from multiple providers. Treating these multiple chronic conditions is a leading driver of health care expenditures among older individuals. Policymakers in Colorado and across the nation are exploring ways to restrain LTSS spending while providing the best possible care for these vulnerable clients.

The challenge: Colorado’s fastest-growing age group is the 65 and older group. By 2030, Colorado’s 65+ population is anticipated to be three times the size it was in 2000, growing from nearly 420,000 in 2000 to more than 1.3 million. Almost 70 percent of people 65 and older will require some form of LTSS.

This paper breaks down the system in Colorado, its costs, what’s working and what needs work, as well as options that are being considered locally and across the nation.