State Watch: Long-Term Care News from Around the Nation (4/9/2012)

As assisted living regulations evolve and tighten, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements fluctuate, and healthcare reform begins to take effect, many states are facing their own challenges as they continue to develop, operate, and implement new rules and programs. Here is a collection of long-term care related stories from across the nation.

From the Times-News—North Carolina Care Program an Alternative to Nursing Homes?

“A program piloted in Burlington as an alternative to nursing homes for frail seniors is gaining momentum around the state and nation. The Program of All-Inclusive Care is “like adult day care on steroids,” says Marianne Ratcliffe, director of Piedmont Health Senior Care on Vaughn Road. The program’s goal is to keep seniors who might otherwise be relocated to full-time assisted living or nursing homes living in their own homes longer,” reports the Times-News. “Across the country, 86 PACE programs are operating in 29 states, up from 42 programs in 22 states in 2007. The program was first recognized as a provider under Medicare and Medicaid in 1997, when 21 programs were operating.” Read more

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From the North Country Public Radio—New York Nursing Home Employees Protest Privatization

“The debate over whether to privatize Essex County’s Horace Nye Nursing Home continued this week, as employees of the facility took to the streets in front of the Essex County Courthouse in Elizabethtown to protest the potential sale,” reports the North Country Public Radio.
“The county has received bids from three interested parties in New York state, all for $4 million. County lawmakers asked those three groups to submit their best and final offers in hopes of getting more money for the nursing home. As Chris Morris reports, the potential sale continues to be a divisive issue in Essex County.” Read more

From The State Journal-Register—Illinois Nursing Home Bill Irks Reform Advocates

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“Advocates for nursing home residents are livid after the Illinois House last week unanimously approved a bill that apparently would make it harder for the state to cite and fine homes after a resident has been injured or killed,” reports The State Journal-Register. “One advocate said House Bill 5849, sponsored by Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria, would roll back much of the state’s 2010 landmark nursing home reform law and put more residents at risk.” Read more

From The Crescent-News—Ohio Submits Proposal to Coordinate Care for Dual Eligibles

“A proposal to better coordinate medical care for some of Ohio’s sickest, most expensive and difficult to treat patients should lead to more people getting services at home and community-based settings, rather than in more costly nursing homes or other institutions, the state’s Medicaid director said Monday,” reports The Crescent-News. “About 64 percent of Medicaid spending in the last budget year was on institutions, compared with 36 percent on home and community-based care. But the state’s two-year budget puts those spending figures closer to 58 percent for nursing homes and hospitals, and 42 percent on home and community-based care by 2013.” Read more

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From the NJ Spotlight—NJ Program Aims to Keep Seniors Out of Nursing Homes

A New Jersey healthcare program known as Global Options, which helps seniors age in place rather than nursing homes, is earmarked for a big boost in funding under Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed 2013 budget,” reports the NJ Spotlight. “Christie has proposed $280 million for Global Options, compared to the $30 million that the state spent on home and community-based service for the elderly in 2007, O’Dowd told seniors listening in on the teleconference. Rebalancing long-term care, to emphasize home versus institutional care, is at the center of plans for the state’s four Medicaid managed-care companies to deliver all Medicaid services to long-term care beneficiaries, including the 28,000 Medicaid recipients who now reside in nursing homes.” Read more

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