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82nd Arizona Town Hall
Health Care Options: Healthy Aging - Later Life Decisions
May 18 - 21, 2003

Arizona's elderly population is projected to triple by 2050. Some of the toughest questions involving health care in Arizona in the next twenty years relate to how we, as individuals, as communities and as a state, can deal with the health care challenges and opportunities that are presented by this approaching surge in Arizona's elderly population. Following are just a few of the major recommendations from the 82nd Arizona Town Hall that could help our state prepare for and deal with this important public policy challenge.

  • Each individual must take responsibility and an ownership interest in his or her own health both by shouldering some of the financial burden for care and by taking appropriate preventive measures to lead a healthier lifestyle, recognizing the importance of the "concept of wellness."
  • Whenever possible, Medicare and Medicaid (AHCCCS) regulations should be streamlined to resolve the lack of coordination between the two and the administrative and patient care problems they create.
  • Expansion of Arizona's Long Term Care System (ALTCS) should be considered to allow the participation of non-eligible Arizonans on a fee-for-service basis.
  • The cost of prescription drugs is primarily a national problem and must be addressed in a meaningful fashion by the federal government.
  • Arizona should create a single, centralized state repository either in the Department of Health Services or the Office of the Secretary of State to provide storage of either the notice of the existence of medical advance directives or, at the option of the resident, the full contents of the advance directive.
  • The model of malpractice insurance and tort must be reformed if Arizona is to have any realistic hope of recruiting and retaining a sufficient number of health care professionals to care for our population.
  • The governor and legislative leaders should appoint a citizens' blue ribbon task force to develop a state health care strategic plan.
  • A statewide Health Policy Institute should be created that would gather, analyze and disseminate health care data and create a forum for discussion, consensus building and informing policymakers.

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