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. [...]
It is hard to be an adult child caring for an aging parent. But it is also hard to be an aging parent being cared for by an adult child. One solution: Think of this relationship as a partnership, not as one family member providing a service to another. Indeed, the phrase “care partners” is catching on in some corners [...]
The House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a constitutional amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget every year. Lawmakers would be more honest if they just called it a Constitutional Amendment To Cut Benefits For Old People. Because that’s who’d likely bear the brunt of the spending cuts needed to comply with such a balanced budget [...]
The White House finally appointed the last three members of the congressional long-term care commission, making it possible for the panel to get down to work. The nominations, which were supposed to have been made by Feb 1, are Henry Claypool, Executive Vice President of the American Association of People with Disabilities and a top aide at the Department of Health and Human [...]
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to NICHE, (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) a joint venture of the Hartford Institute and the New York University School of Nursing dedicated to improving the quality of geriatric nursing. NICHE understands that caring for elders is not like caring for younger patients, and it has developed new techniques to both assess [...]