Neediest beneficiaries use Medicaid for LTC and acute care

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Beneficiaries of Medicaid who use long-term care services tap Medicaid for acute services as well, a new study says. Such a finding suggests that Medicaid reform should consider all the spending needs of sick beneficiaries.

A total of 7% of Medicaid beneficiaries who utilize LTC services account for more than half (52%) of all Medicaid spending, according to a new analysis released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Three-quarters of the spending from this group went toward long-term care and the remainder went towards acute care and other services.

This group represents the most disabled and chronically ill of the Medicaid population, the study said. More than half are elderly, one-third are disabled and under age 65, and 11% are adults or children not classified as disabled.