From The Kaiser Health News (Feb 22, 2011) “States Pushing Managed Long-Term Care for Elderly and Disabled Medicaid Patients” Article Quotation: Desperate to rein in rising Medicaid costs, Tennessee last year became the sixth state to require its frailest and costliest patients — the elderly and disabled who need long-term care — to enroll in managed care plans. It’s no secret that state (and federal) budgets are severely stressed. While lawmakers look for revenue and cost-cutting measures, Medicaid services are coming under scrutiny. Managed care plans are becoming increasingly popular as one way to cut Medicaid costs. Currently six states require the elderly and disabled who need long-term care to enroll in a managed care plan. At least 10 other states are reportedly considering the same, according to a recent article from The Kaiser Health News. Traditionally, states pay Medicaid providers directly for individual services. Under managed care, states pay health insurers a fixed monthly fee for each Medicaid patient. The lump sum is used for all the patient’s costs, including physician and nursing home care. Managed care companies say they can help states save money by keeping Medicaid patients who need long-term care at home whenever possible. Tennessee pays its Medicaid health plans an average of $4,400 per member per month. AARP and some other advocates caution that managed care plans could make it harder for patients to get the services they need. The nursing home industry, which currently gets about two-thirds of its revenues from Medicaid, is complaining as well. But state officials around the country say they have little choice but to make more aggressive use of managed care, especially for long-term care patients who account for more than two-thirds of all Medicaid spending. You can learn more about Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care at our website www.jerryreiflawyer.com.
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