Use of managed care for long-term care could save $140 billion, insurance report finds

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Experts disagreed on how proposed Medicare cost-sharing increases would affect seniors.
Experts disagreed on how proposed Medicare cost-sharing increases would affect seniors.

Modernizing long-term care and other Medicaid-funded programs could yield hundreds of billions of dollars in government savings over the next 10 years, according to a new report from UnitedHealth Group.

Significant savings can be found in three specific areas, according to the report from UnitedHealth's Center for Health Reform and Modernization: coordinated care, administrative modernization and use of managed care for long-term care services. These efforts could save a total of $366 billion over the next decade and help pay for the expansion of Medicaid. Use of managed care for long-term care could yield savings of up to $60 billion for states and $80 billion for the federal government, the report said.

UnitedHealth recommends the following for the long-term care field: creating integrated programs that combine acute, behavioral, nursing home, home- and community-based services and prescription drugs; integrating care for dual eligibles—those who receive Medicaid and Medicare; and providing incentives for consumers who participate in managed long-term care.