A Life Under Medicaid

As the debate about the Accountable Care Act moves to a new phase, it’s important to remember that even after the full implementation of the ACA, Medicaid will remain as the primary funding source for the long term care service and support (LTSS) needs of older adults.

In this video, produced by Kaiser Health News - the essential resource for all information related to health care delivery – we see how the Medicaid program’s continued reliance on the nursing home as the exclusive platform for LTSS delivery impacts the life of Ms. Gracie Scarrow, a former nurse's aide.

It is the hope of advocates for older adults that as ACA takes effect we can examine how to transform the current trifecta of government funding resources (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act) into a more seamless, stable and predictable funding structure for long term services and supports. Until then, I hope you find the video interesting and as you watch it consider the following:

  • 62 million Americans are enrolled in the Medicaid program. 2.7 million of them live in Illinois.
  • 64% of enrollees are older adults and adults with physical disabilities.
  • Older adults and adults with physical disabilities account for 80% of the program costs.
  • Only a handful of states (including MN, NM, WA and AK) spend more than 50 percent of their Medicaid and state general revenue long term services and supports (LTSS) funds on home based care for older people and adults with physical disabilities.
  • State progress in reducing unnecessary nursing home use would be both cost-effective and provide greater choice, control and life satisfaction for people who need LTSS.
  • Learn more about Medicaid spending on long term care here
  • View the AARP State Scorecard on LTSS for older adults and people with disabilities here.

What do you think? Learn more on Twitter @aginginchicago

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    Bruce Lederman has over 25 years experience in the senior care field as a direct care provider and thought leader. Bruce was CEO and president of his own firm that operated skilled nursing facilities in Illinois. He is a former nursing home administrator and has consulted to numerous elder care providers on planning for strategic growth as well as process improvement. Recently he served as board chair of CJE SeniorLife, a leading non-profit elder care provider in the Chicago area. Bruce is currently employed as chief strategy officer for a company providing skilled nursing services in communities throughout Illinois and Missouri.

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