Community-based long-term care

One-third of state Medicaid budgets go to long-term care, and Medicaid takes up 20 percent of state budgets, reports Stateline.org in a Dec. 8 article on states seeking alternatives to nursing-home care. As Congress considers cutbacks in Medicaid, states are looking to community-based care, which is about one-third the cost of institutional care, for their aged.

The article cites Vermont as a leader in giving its seniors the kind of care they want, balancing Medicaid expenditures between nursing homes and community care. After overcoming federal barriers to home-care options, Vermont is now able to serve three times as many elders as it did before.

Not only is community care cheaper, most people prefer it. Nora Dowd Eisenhower, Secretary of Pennsylvania's Dept. of Aging, commented on the shift to community-based long-term care:
The boomers are aging. They're sophisticated consumers that want to change the way long-term care is delivered. Governors across the country are challenged to come up with strategies for controlling the mounting fiscal burden of long-term care. It's going to happen.


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