Older Americans Act: More Should Be Done to Measure the Extent of Unmet Need for Services

Studies project large increases in the number of adults who will be eligible for services in the future and likely government budget constraints. In advance of program reauthorization scheduled for 2011, GAO was asked to determine: (1) what is known about the need for home- and community-based services like those funded by OAA and the potential unmet need for these services; (2) how have agencies used their funds, including Recovery Act funds, to meet program objectives, and (3) how government and local agencies measured need and unmet need. GAO recommends that the Department of Health and Human Services study the effectiveness of cost-sharing and definitions and measurement procedures for need and unmet need.