The future of Medicaid – the health program for low-income adults, children and seniors – is now in the hands of the Senate. The American Health Care Act, as passed by the House, would convert the program from an open-ended one to block grants, providing a fixed amount per recipient, regardless of health costs. The bill also caps future program spending. If the bill passes, Medicaid faces more than $800 billion in cuts over 10 years.
That’s bad news for the 70 million people enrolled in the program, including about 9 million dual eligibles – those covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. These are the most vulnerable, often sickest older adults, who struggle to afford food, medicine, and manage their chronic conditions. Continue reading
It’s long been known that 5 percent of all Medicare patients account for more than half of Medicare spending.
In addition, the top 1 percent of the sickest and most vulnerable Medicare patients consume 23 percent of Medicare resources, largely because of the severity of their illness but also because their conditions frequently are not managed well. Repeatedly they travel a painful journey among hospital emergency departments, nursing homes and hospital readmissions, in the process racking up huge medical bills, exposing themselves to hospital-acquired infections and bedsores. In the process, they often lose control of their lives. Continue reading
Photo: Deborah Crowe/AHCJMeals on Wheels America CEO Ellie Hollander talked about the benefits of the program beyond providing nutritious meals.
Ellie Hollander wants to see every older adult live out their lives independently, in their own homes. But, the president and chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels America acknowledges that it may be an impossible goal, given the overwhelming need and current political climate.
Hollander was the speaker at the AHCJ Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 22, at Health Journalism 2017, where she spoke about the overwhelming need to address senior hunger in the United States. Continue reading
The inaugural Aspen Health Strategy Group (AHSG) report on improving end-of-life care pulls few punches in calling for significant changes in care design, delivery, financing, quality measurement and care provision.
The conclusions from the year-long study, which included input from dozens of health care leaders and experts, appealed for a serious overhaul by health systems, payers, academia, and policymakers of palliative and hospice care. Continue reading
By now, most of you are probably aware of the controversial remarks made by Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, about the administration’s proposed 2017 budget, which would adversely affect home- and community-based services for the elderly.
Among them is Meals on Wheels, which provides daily nutritious food to homebound older adults, the disabled and veterans. Continue reading