Long-Term Care Crisis Coalition Issues Statements to Legislature Following Governor's Inaugural Address

The Long-Term Care Crisis Coalition, which includes VNAs of Vermont, released the following statement to the Legislature on January 9, 2023 following the Governor's Inaugural Address.

Montpelier, VT – Today members of the Long-term Care Crisis Coalition (LTCCC), comprised of long-term care providers and advocates for older Vermonters, released statements to the Legislature following the Governor’s Inaugural Address regarding the need to protect and support access to long-term care for older Vermonters.

“Vermont's population is one of the oldest in the country,” said Ruby Baker, executive director of Community of Vermont Elders, a statewide education and advocacy organization. “The system has been adjusting and adapting to respond to the growing and changing needs of older Vermonters for decades without adequate funding. It is now facing severe crisis, made worse by the pandemic. As Vermonters age, we simply cannot ignore the need to make this essential care a priority. Vermonters’ lives depend on it.”

While the Jan. 5 address acknowledged Vermont’s workforce shortages and aging population, the LTCCC stressed it is urgent for legislators to remember that chronic underfunding, the workforce crisis, and rising costs of providing care have put access to long-term care at risk for older and disabled Vermonters.

“We are past the point of preventing a crisis in care. Access to long-term care has already been reduced in some parts of the state as a result of the challenges facing providers,” said Jill Mazza Olson, executive director of VNAs of Vermont, comprised of Vermont’s local, independent home health and hospice agencies.

“There are three immediate solutions the Legislature can implement to address this crisis,” said Olson and LTCCC members:

  1. Ensure adequate payment for care by raising reimbursement rates to a sustainable level.
    Long-term care services need rate increases of 40 to 80 percent in order to bring payment in line with cost.

  2. Implement a common-sense process for periodic updates to reimbursement rates to keep pace with inflation and changing market pressures.
    There is currently no process in place to ensure the stability and sustainability of long-term care in Vermont.

  3. Make substantial investments in recruiting and retaining the long-term care workforce across the continuum of care.
    The LTCCC supports the recommendations made in the Agency of Human Service’s 2021 Health Care Workforce Development Strategic Plan.

“We are urging lawmakers and the Governor to address Vermont’s long term care crisis this legislative session,” said Molly Dugan, director of policy and strategic initiatives for Cathedral Square. “The lack of equitable access to high quality care and support impacts all of us, and we must work together to achieve a stable and sustainable system of care for older and disabled Vermonters, their families, and our long-term care workforce.”

The LTCCC represents more than 200 providers of assisted living, adult day services, area agencies on aging, home health agencies, residential care homes, nursing homes, and other organizations who care for Vermonters who need long-term care services. This coalition has come together to call for greater action and unite as a sector responsible for caring for some of Vermont’s sickest and most vulnerable. Information on the LTCCC, including a list of members, can be found at

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