AHCA, AAHSA present Medicaid reform proposals to commission

Share this content:

Providers called for major reforms of the Medicaid program on Wednesday — and they did it with distinct recommendations before a federally appointed commission meeting in Dallas.

Both President and CEO Larry Minnix of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and President and CEO Bruce Yarwood of the American Health Care Association testified before the Medicaid Advisory Commission, which is charged with presenting to Congress long-term improvement plans for Medicaid by Dec. 31.

"Our current Medicaid system is not sustainable in the long-term and we are advancing a concept that will bring peace of mind to consumers and policy makers," Minnix said.

AAHSA proposes a broad-based public insurance program funded by premiums, Minnix said. These premiums are based on individuals' needs for assistance with activities of daily living. Under the AAHSA framework, a federally chartered organization would administer the program. He also advocated for technology advancement to allow people to remain independent and reduce costs.

Yarwood offered four new policy approaches. They include: Create federal and state tax incentives to encourage people to purchase private long-term care insurance; and develop policy to make it easier for people to pay for long-term and to take advantage of reverse mortgage financing options.

He also recommended supporting demonstration projects and experimental approaches to address long-term care service delivery challenges; and investigating separating dual eligibles from Medicaid and integrating these seniors into the Medicare program.