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LTCI Watch: The Providers' Earnings

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The companies that run many for-profit U.S. nursing homes and assisted living facilities have released one second-quarter earnings report after another.

I thought that eventually I’d do a roundup about what they were saying about private long-term care insurance (LTCI) revenue, or, at least, revenue from private-pay patients.

I kept putting off doing that story and putting it off, and, finally, I realized that I put off doing that story because it’s really hard to do. Because the long-term care (LTC) providers aren’t really saying anything, even noncommital sweet nothings, about LTCI, or LTCI carriers, or the (sorry, let’s face it) scary state of the supply of U.S. private LTCI coverage.

The LTC providers weren’t even unfairly (or fairly) slamming the private LTCI carriers for paying slowly, inundating them with paperwork, or interacting with them in any way whatsoever.

Some of the LTC providers mentioned their concern about sweeping, unpredictable ups and downs in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for the types of services (not true, facility-based LTC) that Medicare and Medicaid do cover.

But the providers didn’t seem to notice that private LTCI exists, or ever existed, even though a researcher at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, has found that 14% of new U.S. nursing home entrants may have some type of private LTCI coverage.

LTCI carriers’ and producers’ relative lack of interest in any aspect of LTC providers’ operations other than the cost of care is a little surprising, but the providers’ lack of interest in LTCI is shocking.

Where exactly do the providers think the money to pay the bills in the 2020s and 2030s is really going to come some?

If the providers’ answer is “Medicare,” “Medicaid,” or “personal savings,” maybe someone should get the providers’ subscriptions to a few newspapersd, and check back to see whether those folks are reading anything in the newspapers other than the funny pages.


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