60 Seconds with...
A: We were surprised to see the extent to which elderly with severe disabilities consume a much higher amount of medical care resources—4.5 times more—when compared to people without disabilities. This is the first time data has explicitly shown the connection between having difficulty performing daily activities and high medical costs.
Q: Any vivid examples of funding disconnects?
A: Research shows that hospice lengths of stay from 2000 to 2005 took double-digit leaps for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia, suggesting that the Medicare hospice benefit may be addressing a shortfall in long-term care services.
Q: Why do you say healthcare funding reform must include “integrated solutions”?
A: Unless efforts to reform entitlement programs or reform the healthcare system address the long-term care financing gap, the inadequacies of our long-term care system will continue to create inefficiencies in healthcare-related programs—you might be pushing down the trash can lid in one area, and it will continue to pop up in others. Paying for long-term care cannot be categorized simply as a “Medicaid” or individual family problem.