WASHINGTON--AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final rule that would, among other components, allow health care professionals to be paid solely for time spent training family caregivers.
“AARP commends CMS for issuing its final rule which will allow Medicare to pay doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers solely to train family caregivers, who are often unprepared to care for their loved ones. As the backbone of our nation’s long-term care system, family caregivers are increasingly taking on medical duties at home, including giving injections, tending to wounds, and managing multiple medications. They provide an estimated $600 billion in unpaid care each year, but most caregivers don’t receive the training and education they need to manage these complex tasks or other daily activities like bathing and feeding.
“AARP led dozens of organizations and more than a thousand of our members to call on CMS to adopt the caregiver training proposal. This is a huge step forward for America’s over 48 million family caregivers, who are an essential but often invisible part of almost any care team. It recognizes the critical role that family caregivers play, creates incentives for providers to engage with them and integrate them into the broader care team, and most importantly, it provides them with the training and support they need. The rule also includes Principal Illness Navigation services that include family caregivers, which AARP supported, and will help those with high-risk health conditions navigate their treatment and resources.
“We look forward to supporting more efforts that highlight family caregivers’ responsibilities and challenges, support them, and help ensure their loved ones can live independently in their homes for as long as possible.”
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/, www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.