To The Editor:
Who says the country is not experiencing a growing long-term care crisis? We better all wake up to the facts!
Its all about the lack of straightforward information about private care planning and care financing. But still today the majority (63%) of people 65 and older think its taken care of. And to make matters worse, the baby boomers havent begun to plan and 95% dont know what LTC insurance is!
So eventually, when care is needed, they will have to spend-down their assets and income and end up on Medicaid (Title 19). The majority of the population is simply uninformed.
Two months ago, CareQuest reported on the growing nursing home trend of cost-shifting Medicaid (Title 19) patient costs to the private pay patients because their particular state had maxed out their Medicaid budget and the Medicaid daily payment level was not enough to sustain the cost of care, creating cash shortfalls for the providers. And, as some of us already know, even under the best of conditions Medicaid does not pay a fair-market-value to the provider for the daily services of most patients.
One month ago we read more about a rash of nursing homes that were evicting Medicaid patients (nothing new, by the way), because the nursing home(s) decided to reduce the number of Medicaid beds to make room for more private pay patients.
The law does allow a nursing home to maintain Medicaid/Medicare certification under certain bed reduction levels. This is not new, its been going on over the last 8 or 9 years. However, now the media is picking up on the eviction process because its happening more frequently. Some people have even died as a result of transfer trauma–now lawsuits are being filed by family members.