In his American Jobs Plan, President Biden has proposed increasing federal support for home-based long-term care by a staggering $400 billion over eight years. A $50 billion annual increase would represent a roughly 40 percent increase in the $129 billion Medicaid spent on long-term care in 2018 and a 70 percent increase in that year’s home and community-based services (HCBS) [...]
In a bombshell announcement, the real estate investment trust (REIT) Welltower—the biggest owner of nursing homes in the US-- is divorcing from Genesis Healthcare—the nation’s biggest operator of nursing facilities. At same the same, Genesis, whose share price has plummeted in recent years, announced it is delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. It is common for REITs to own [...]
A Stakeholder Commission Correctly Diagnoses The Problems With Nursing Homes and Covid-19, But Soft-Peddles The Solutions
A national Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes has identified more than two dozen major flaws in the response of government and the nursing home industry to the covid-19 pandemic. However, the panel, created by the Trump Administration, was relatively passive in its recommendations for how to fix those shortcomings. It feels a bit like reading the [...]
President Trump’s newest White House pandemic adviser, Scott Atlas, reportedly is advocating for the strategy of building “herd immunity” to stop the spread of coronavirus. Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist and fellow at the Hoover Institution, would allow the virus to spread as widely and quickly as possible to build immunity in the overall population. Think of it as the [...]
As 2020 dawns, the US is about to reach a critical, historic tipping point in its need to care for frail older adults. And we are tragically unprepared. In just five years, the first of the 77-million strong Baby Boom generation will reach age 80—the time when people’s frailty increases dramatically and they begin to need high levels of long-term [...]
Federal and state policymakers increasingly are interested in creating a public social insurance program for long-term care in the US. Even some Democratic presidential hopefuls have raised the issue, though still only in general terms. That growing interest is great news, and long past due. But what should such a model look like? Designers face a handful of critical high-level [...]
Are We Nearing The End Of Medicare’s Three-Day Rule That Makes Patients Pay For Skilled Nursing Care?
President Trump’s Medicare chief, Seema Verma, may have signaled the beginning of the end of Medicare’s three-day rule—the requirement that Medicare will pay for post-acute care or rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) only if a beneficiary first spends at least three days as an admitted patient in the hospital. If she revises the rule, she will make many [...]
Private Equity Firms Are Acquiring Long-Term Care Insurance Policies. What Will It Mean For Policyholders?
Some long-term care insurance companies are turning over their existing policies to private equity firms and other outside investors, a move that will wipe massive liabilities off their books but could put policyholders at risk. The problem: Unlike traditional insurance companies, private equity investors may be investing premiums in high-yielding but speculative securities such as junk corporate bonds. Such a [...]
We’ve known for years that good transitional care programs—services aimed at helping patients make the move from a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) back home, or even from a hospital to a SNF, can improve the health of older adults and save money. But a new study finds that even through Medicare recently began paying physicians extra for providing [...]
What do Hurricane Florence and frail old age have in common? Millions of people know they are coming yet won’t do anything to protect themselves against a high-risk threat. Several recent news items put this in focus. And all of them point in the same direction: Americans are unable to plan for a catastrophe, even one we know is coming. [...]