Recommendations for how managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) plans can better raise awareness of and increase support for family caregivers.
More than one in five Americans has engaged in caregiving for an adult with functional limitations, often for family members. However, few recognize themselves as caregivers, creating barriers to resources that can offer support to both caregivers and the adults with functional limitations who they serve.
MLTSS plans are well positioned to address this challenge. This report, developed through a partnership between the Long-Term Quality Alliance and the National MLTSS Health Plan Association and based on extensive public input, offers recommendations for how MLTSS plans can increase both broader awareness of the role of family caregivers among the general public and engage in direct outreach to increase caregivers’ awareness of available resources.
The report identifies six key mechanisms through which MLTSS plans can achieve these goals: (1) ensure family caregiver representation on advisory committees to amplify feedback; (2) document and respond to family caregiver needs in policy-setting processes; (3) define caregivers' roles and value through equity-focused awareness campaigns; (4) use existing member assessments to identify family caregivers; (5) improve staff members’ skills in supporting caregivers; (6) raise awareness of and facilitate referrals to tools and resources to support family caregivers, including those provided by regional Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The report includes specific examples of MLTSS plans leveraging each of the six mechanisms and highlights key implementation resources.
This resource offers actionable recommendations for MLTSS plans to raise awareness of the critical role played by family caregivers. In doing so, plans can facilitate greater access to resources for family caregivers, improving quality of life and health outcomes for both caregivers and adults with functional limitations.