Governors' letter puts Medicaid long-term care spending in spotlight
State governors are pushing for long-term care policy changes in the Medicaid program to help curb state budget spending.A letter from the National Governors Association to the Medicaid Commission stressed the need for greater coordination between Medicaid and Medicare as a way of reining in long-term care costs for dual eligibles. It also suggested that the Medicaid Commission consider other long-term care financing options, like offering incentives to promote the purchase of private long-term insurance.
The commission was created by the Bush administration and is charged with recommending ways to reform and extend the long-term viability of the Medicaid program. Major recommendations are due by the end of the year.
"Medicaid has become the nation's largest payer of long-term care services, funding approximately 50 percent of long-term care spending and nearly two-thirds of the costs for all nursing home residents ... Medicaid simply cannot continue to afford to be the predominant provider of long-term coverage for seniors," NGA said in the letter.