SEIU recommends changes to long-term care as way to reduce healthcare costs

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When President Obama announced May 11 that six leading healthcare industry groups would band together to reduce healthcare costs by $2 trillion over the next decade, many were skeptical. On Monday, however, those groups submitted their proposals—and one has suggested changing care delivery in the long-term care field.

One of the six groups, the Service Employees International Union, which is the largest single representative of healthcare workers in the U.S., told the Obama administration that it would pursue cost savings through expanded home- and community-based services. Additional federal funding for HCBS through Medicaid would limit institutional costs and potentially save $43 billion over 10 years, according to the SEIU proposal. Another avenue for savings in the area of long-term care could be expanded Medicare nursing home value-based purchasing, SEIU also suggested.

The American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association suggested savings through increased quality of care initiatives and patient safety programs. The AHA proposal listed "preventing patient falls" as one way to reduce long-term costs. The other groups that submitted proposals are the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Advanced Medical Technology Association and America's Health Insurance Plans.