“Growing gap between what insurers and Medicare spend on hospital stays,” by Jack Craver”

“Growing gap between what insurers and Medicare spend on hospital stays,” by Jack Craver, BenefitsPRO     Quote: “A new analysis takes a look at the difference between what private health plans and Medicare pay for hospital stays. The analysis, published by Thomas M. Selden in Health Affairs, examines the cost of hospital stays from 2000 to 2016. Between 2000 and 2012, the cost of inpatient hospital stays rose much faster for privately insured patients than Medicare enrollees. At the beginning of the millennium, private plans were only paying 10 percent more than Medicare, but that gap grew to 75 percent by
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“The Longevity Economy® Outlook: How people age 50 and older are fueling economic growth, stimulating jobs, and creating opportunities for all”

“The Longevity Economy® Outlook: How people age 50 and older are fueling economic growth, stimulating jobs, and creating opportunities for all,” AARP     Quote: “The contributions of people age 50 and older benefit the economy, which is good for everyone.” LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform): Rosy scenario nonsense. This report from AARP focuses entirely on alleged contributions to the economy by people over age 50. It suggests longevity is an economic boon. The words Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unfunded liability and bankrupt do not appear in the text. Denial still isn’t a
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“Anticholinergic Drug Exposure and the Risk of Dementia”

“Anticholinergic Drug Exposure and the Risk of Dementia,” by Carol A. C. Coupland, PhD1; Trevor Hill, MSc; Tom Dening, MD; et al., Journal of the American Medical Association     Quote: “The present study adds further evidence of potential risks associated with strong anticholinergic drugs, particularly those that are antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinic drugs, antiparkinson drugs, and epilepsy drugs. Adverse effects should be considered alongside benefits when these drugs are prescribed, and alternative treatments should be considered where possible, such as other types of antidepressant or nonpharmacological treatments for depression, alternative antiparkinsonian drugs, and bladder training or mirabegron for overactive bladders. We found
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“Health Savings Account Balances Show Continued Growth”

“Health Savings Account Balances Show Continued Growth,” Advisor Magazine     Quote: “Excerpts from new research by the Employee benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) Paul Fronstin & Jake Spiegel reveal that as individuals become more familiar with HSAs, they are more likely to take advantage of the benefits. Reprinted with permission. Read the full report here. According to a new EBRI report, average health savings account (HSA) balances increased from $1,990 in 2011 to $2,803 in 2018. ‘Trends in Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Investments, 2011‒2018: Estimates From the EBRI HSA Database’ is a longitudinal study from EBRI’s HSA database, examining trends
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“US cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop, report says,” by Jacqueline Howard”

“US cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop, report says,” by Jacqueline Howard, CNN     Quote: “The rate of people dying from cancer in the United States continued to decline for the 26th year in a row, according to a new American Cancer Society report. From 2016 to 2017, the United States saw its largest-ever single-year drop in overall cancer deaths, a 2.2% plunge spurred in part by a sharp decline in lung cancer deaths, according to the report, published Wednesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.” LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“Bundles cut spending on joint replacements, but not for other conditions”

“Bundles cut spending on joint replacements, but not for other conditions,” by Harris Mayer, Modern Healthcare     Quote: “Medicare’s voluntary bundled-payment program for hip and knee replacements reduced spending by 1.6% from 2013 to 2016 — less than previously estimated — with no overall change in quality, according to a new study in Health Affairs. Another new Health Affairs study reported that lower extremity joint replacement is the only type of clinical episode in Medicare bundled-payment programs that has produced savings so far. The meta-analysis found no evidence of reduced spending or quality improvement for other clinical episodes.” LTC Comment (from
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out of Pocket on Health Care”

“How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out of Pocket on Health Care?,” by Juliette Cubanski  Wyatt Koma, Anthony Damico, and Tricia Neuman, KFF Issue Brief     Quote: “The oldest beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, people ages 85 and older, spent more than twice as much out of pocket as beneficiaries between the ages of 65 and 74 ($10,307 versus $5,021). This difference was primarily due to significantly higher spending on long-term care facility services among beneficiaries in the oldest age group. … In 2016, people with traditional Medicare spent an average of $5,460 out of pocket for health care expenses, including premiums, cost
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“The Health Care Promises We Cannot Keep”

“The Health Care Promises We Cannot Keep,” by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News     Quote: “For family caregivers, this is a common, anxiety-provoking dilemma. They’ll promise Mom or Dad that they can stay at home through the end of their lives and never go to assisted living or a nursing home. Or they’ll commit to taking care of a spouse’s needs and not bringing paid help into the home. Or they’ll vow to pursue every possible medical intervention in a medical crisis. Eventually, though, the unforeseen will arise ― after a devastating stroke or a heart attack, for instance,
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“7 Rules For Wealth: #3 Long-Term Care End Run”

“7 Rules For Wealth: #3 Long-Term Care End Run,” by William Baldwin, Forbes     Quote: “People of limited means shouldn’t put money into LTC policies; they can reasonably expect that Medicaid will cover their stay. Prosperous people shouldn’t, either; they can fund a nursing home out of what would have been a legacy. … Plan on using home equity to cover the nursing bill. That means the mortgage should be paid off before you retire. If it isn’t, you were living beyond your means. Keep working until you own the house. If the house is paid for, then if
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.

“New York slashing Medicaid payments by 1% as state faces massive $6 billion budget deficit”

“New York slashing Medicaid payments by 1% as state faces massive $6 billion budget deficit,” by Dennis Slattery, New York Post   Quote: “The state Health Department is cutting Medicaid payments by 1% starting Wednesday as the Cuomo administration seeks ways to reduce a ballooning budget gap projected to exceed $6 billion. A notice in the New York State Register published Tuesday said the move will reduce gross Medicaid payments, including federal matching aid, by $124 million in the final quarter of the current fiscal year and $496 million in following years. … The cut applies to the majority of
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Categories: Clippings, Industry News, and Long-Term Care.