“How Can We Keep People Out of Nursing Homes?”

“How Can We Keep People Out of Nursing Homes?,” by Emily Gurnon, Next Avenue

“If you are hospitalized at age 65 or older, there is a one in five chance you will be discharged to a nursing home. If you’re lucky, your stay in the nursing home will be relatively short — fewer than 100 days. Whether or not that happens, however, may depend on the state you live in. Certain states — like Minnesota, Maine, Oregon and Connecticut — have implemented policies that lower the chances of getting ‘stuck’ in a nursing home, said Wendy Fox-Grage, a senior strategic policy advisory with the AARP Policy Institute and co-author of ‘State Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Long-Term Nursing Home Care After Hospitalization.’”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):

States that push “rebalancing” from institutional to home care are learning a hard lesson private LTC insurers have struggled with for two decades. When you pay for services people want (home care and assisted living) instead of a service they’d rather avoid (nursing home care), you shouldn’t expect to save money. Even though home care may be cheaper at first for an individual, it costs much more over time and across society, because many people end up needing nursing home care in the end anyway and the total cost for their lifetimes is higher.

How Can We Keep People Out of Nursing Homes?