Long Term Care Support Group
May 29, 2014 2 Comments
Today I talked with the Duke Fuqua School of Business Caregiver Support Group–about 12 persons who are currently caring for a loved one, most typically a spouse. All of the stories are different of course, but there is a thread that runs through them. Medicare pays for lots of physician and hospital care, without regard for whether it is needed or works. But, it pays for very little in the way of Long Term Care–help and support to enable someone to deal with disability. The folks in this room were ready to have a discussion about trading off some types of curative/high costs disease modifying care for low tech custodial Long Term Care. I have a paper coming out later this Summer that sheds more light on such conversations and trade offs…..more on that later.
Another theme running through many people’s story was that changes in setting often reduced hospital and other formal spending paid for by Medicare. However, the impact on the societal cost of care was ambiguous–it was often simple shifted to families.
Increasingly, I think one motivation for seeking cost savings in Medicare should be to reallocate some of the money spent on medical care to Long Term Care.