Health reform

How the Arts Can Change Care for Elders and People with Disabilities

Yesterday morning, a veteran of the decades-long effort to improve the way we deliver and pay for long-term supports and services asked me a question. Why, he wondered, should he believe that recent attempts to reform long-term care could succeed when so many previous initiatives have failed.  Last evening, I may have found an answer. My wife and I went to see [...]

California Will Shift 456,000 Low Income Seniors into Managed Care

California has taken the idea of managed care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to a whole new level. Under an agreement with the Obama Administration announced last week, the state will begin shifting both medical care and long-term supports and services to managed care companies in just seven months. Watch this closely. You may be looking at the [...]

Long-Term Care: A Forgotten Issue in the Presidential Campaign

With the presidential election in less than two weeks, consumers, advocates, and providers should pay attention to what Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would do about long-term supports and services for the frail elderly and younger people with disabilities. It is hard to know for sure, because neither man has said much. Yet, between the lines, there are important messages. [...]

Hill Panel Debates Managing Care for Dual Eligible Seniors

Everybody wants to do a better job coordinating care for the frail elderly and younger adults with disabilities who have extensive medical and personal care needs. But just how to do it is becoming increasingly controversial—especially on Capitol Hill. The current flashpoint is an aggressive new Obama Administration initiative aimed at improving care and cutting costs for those who are [...]

Private Insurers are Betting Big on Managed Care for “Dual Eligible” Seniors

Insurance giant Wellpoint is the latest carrier making a big bet on managing care for those seniors and adults with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  About 9 million people, called “dual eligibles” receive benefits from both programs. They are both very poor and very sick and often have significant needs for personal assistance. Medicaid alone spends $145 [...]

Frail Seniors are Most At-Risk and Costliest to Treat

People often say that the patients most at risk in the U.S. health system are the elderly who suffer from multiple chronic diseases. But it may be that a subset of these seniors—those with chronic disease who also need personal assistance with routine activities—are in the most jeopardy. An important 2011 research paper finds they are the most costly to care [...]

Supreme Court Ruling on Health Reform Upholds Key Long-Term Care Provisions

By upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has preserved—at least for now—major changes in the way long-term care supports and services are delivered and financed. Here are some provisions of the law that directly affect the frail elderly and younger adults with disabilities. Medicaid: The law is filled with important changes to this state/federal program [...]

Mass. Moves to Require End-of-Life Talks

WBUR radio and Kaiser Health News report that the Massachusetts Senate has quietly approved a measure requiring doctors and nurses to discuss end of life options with patients who have a terminal illness. The Palliative Care Awareness bill was included as part of a sweeping health reform measure and, remarkably, was not controversial.  It was supported by both Republicans and Democrats and [...]

By |2012-05-25T18:40:33-04:00May 25th, 2012|Aging, End of life, Health reform|1 Comment

What Would Happen to Senior Care if the Supreme Court Strikes Down Health Reform

The fate of many important health reforms aimed directly at seniors is in the hands of the Supreme Court.  While the public has focused most of its attention on whether the High Court will strike down the individual mandate in the 2010 health reform law, the justices today are hearing arguments about another critical issue: What should happen to the rest of the Affordable Care [...]

We Need to Connect Medical and Social Care for Seniors

Eighty-give percent of physicians say that unmet social needs lead to worse health outcomes, according to a new survey sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But only 20 percent are confident in their ability to help patients and their families meet those needs. Talk about good news and bad news! The survey asked about a wide range of social [...]

By |2011-12-28T17:24:44-05:00December 28th, 2011|Aging, Care Coordination, Health reform|7 Comments