Seniors Housing Weekly Update-- The Path of Home and Community-Based Care
April 17, 2012
60 Seconds With Steve Monroe
The Path of Home and Community-Based Care
We all know that most elderly want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Who wouldn’t? But sometimes it may not be the best option. When Medicaid funds were “waivered” for use in assisted living, the intent was to 1) save on costs as assisted rates were much lower than skilled nursing rates, and 2) have a more appropriate setting for many of the elderly. On the cost front, all that happened was that the pie got bigger, and more people wanted access to care paid for by someone else. Now, take the case of the current push for home and community-based care, mostly to keep the elderly out of SNFs. A wonderful concept, but aren’t we going down the same path, funding more people? For those elderly residing full time in a skilled nursing facility, staying at home is usually not cheaper, nor is it safer or healthier, if they actually need the level of care that is provided in a SNF, but need it every day. So, just like with assisted living Medicaid waivers, aren’t we setting ourselves up for creating a larger pool of recipients of state and federalaid, at a time when more money just isn’t available? Do the math, it just doesn’t work.