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Susan Reinhard

Susan C. Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, is Senior Vice President and Director of the AARP Public Policy Institute.  She leads the LTSS Choices project and serves as the Chief Strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America and Family Caregiving Initiatives. She is the leader of the LTSS State Scorecard and LTSS Choices Initiative to promote the transformation of long-term care. Her areas of expertise include bridging research, policy, and practice in family caregiving; long-term services and supports; and the health care workforce. Read her full biography.
The COVID-19 pandemic had stark and immediate effects on home and community-based services (HCBS) and the people who received these supports.
Successful deprescribing (that is, reducing or eliminating certain drugs that may be causing harm) in the course of routine care may depend on strengthening and elevating the information that is available to consumers.
The message from recent data is clear: nursing home residents and staff need booster shots now.
There is both an opportunity and an imperative to redesign the next Scorecard. This tool has the potential to draw further attention to critical issues in LTSS exposed by the COVID-19 crisis and help states build and maintain momentum in their efforts to modernize their LTSS systems.
The Build Back Better Act that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is under consideration in the U.S. Senate includes several sections that could drive improvement in nursing home staffing and ultimately resident care and safety.
As facilities use the lessons learned to put in place policies and programs to continue delivering COVID-19 vaccines, they also should evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their influenza and pneumococcal immunization programs.
Facilities are beginning to innovate and put in place best practices to drive down the number of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.
As the pandemic and the caregiving crisis it has prompted continue, more action is needed to protect caregivers from discrimination at work.
The pandemic has changed the way we think of long-term care, and if we lean into the crisis-earned set of lessons learned, we can do more than just tweak the system. We can transform it.
While states are offering consumers more choices for long-term services and supports (LTSS), we still have far to go to balance institutional care and home and community-based services (HCBS). Now there is a major opportunity to pick up the pace of that change.
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