CBO on Long Term Care
June 27, 2013 Leave a comment
CBO released a great report on Long Term Care for the elderly (what is now most typically being called long term services and supports). Several key figures/graphs. The first shows that most people receiving LTC do not live in Nursing Homes, but in the community.
A little over half of LTC care (in terms of its economic value) is provided by families and others on an informal, unpaid basis.
So, when you see this break down of payments for LTC by type of payer, remember that over HALF of the total economic value of all LTC is not accounted for in the graph below, but is paid for implicitly by family members.
Two quick policy take home points:
- When evaluating a long term care proposal of any type, the correct cost to compare it with is not zero; the default costs are huge, it is just that many of them accrue silently via informal care.
- The lack of a coherent LTC system is causing problems in all sorts of other policy areas. Just two examples are in hospice policy, where long stays are likely driven at least in part by persons seeking care in a way that has turned hospice in some areas into a back door long term care benefit. Similarly, hospital re-admissions are at least partly driven by LTC break downs that are beyond the scope of any hospital-based program to address.
The hope for coherent policy making in this area is negligible in the near future.