Public/Private Elder Care Partnerships:

Balancing Benefit and Risk

T-HRD-92-45: Published: Jul 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1992.

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GAO discussed the public benefit and risk when corporations buy elder care services from area agencies on aging for company employees that care for elderly persons. GAO noted that: (1) private partnerships offer the benefit of the infusion of private funds into an oversubscribed system of public services and a risk of possible neglect of activities to achieve the public mission under the Older Americans Act; (2) in 1990, the Administration on Aging asked state agencies to develop policies that would encourage corporate elder care among area agencies on aging while preserving the public mission; (3) all states developed policies on corporate elder care, although 8 policies are not final; (4) 45 states and the District of Columbia permit agencies to enter into corporate elder care contracts and most encourage agencies to pursue these arrangements, but the 5 remaining states have policies stating they will not enter into elder care contracts with corporations; (5) in 41 states and the District of Columbia, state elder care policies fall short of protecting the public-mission responsibilities of area agencies on aging; and (6) state policies often do not address the need to target services to individuals with the greatest economic or social need.

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