Commission discusses extracting long-term care from Medicaid

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The Medicaid Commission, which is looking into ways to improve the government program, this week mulled over the possibility of separating long-term care financing from Medicaid.

Former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist (R), chairman of the commission, raised the point at a meeting Wednesday that long-term care was not part of the original program. Another panel member said the idea of separating long-term care into its own agency and how to finance it in the long run are worth examining.

Yet another member said it is important to explore whether Medicaid should fund home care services that are not medical in nature.

The commission issued its first report in September 2005, offering recommendations on how to reduce Medicaid spending by $11 billion over the next five years. The panel is working on a second report to be completed by Dec. 31, 2006, on long-term recommendations for sustaining Medicaid's finances.