Attacking Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

Most of us know that in order to continue to afford to pay our Medicare and Medicaid obligations we have to become as efficient as possible in managing the system. We also know that there is at minimum $60 billion in Medicare fraud annually and when you add in Medicaid the amount could rise to $150 billion in fraud.
I was reading recently that President Obama is trying his best to do something about this mess.  He announced to his agencies that private auditors will be sniffing out the fraud and trying to reduce that amount and he believes it will pay back about $2 billion over the next three years. This is a good step, but far short of what needs to be done.
If the people in place in the Health and Human Services agency responsible for protecting taxpayers money against Medicare and Medicaid fraud can’t do the job, then Obama has to find people who can do it. He may want to start at the top with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  He owes that to the American people. For more on this read the full article here http://bit.ly/byZN8B.

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March 11, 2010. Tags: , , . 1. Leave a comment.

Giving the disabled a chance at a regular life

I was reading recently about a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that has created a mainstream living opportunity for the severely disabled so that they do not have to live in a nursing home, which is often the case.  This organization has given new hope and new life to disabled individuals in a way people didn’t think was possible. The name of the organization is Liberty Housing Development Corporation.  Liberty’s chief executive officer, Bruce Connus, said “the mainstreaming concept differs dramatically from the traditional use of federal funds to place the physically disabled in nursing homes. So much so, he said, that Liberty’s 16 independent-living apartments and the 41 scheduled for development this year put Philadelphia in the national forefront of “freeing people who are trapped in nursing homes.” I urge you to read more about this fabulous project in Philadelphia by visiting this site http://bit.ly/adgYjX

March 4, 2010. Tags: , , . 1. Leave a comment.

A New Housing Arrangement For Boomers

There is a relatively new phenomenon taking place in this country. It is called multi-generational housing and it is catching on and not by choice!  Boomer women now have adult children moving back home and aging parents moving in also. This results in tremendous stress for the boomer parents. Know anyone in this situation? I would bet we all do! For marketers who target boomers this presents great opportunities to meet the myriad needs of boomer women for example. For a thorough look at this phenom read this http://bit.ly/aPDF3E. I would enjoy hearing your comments on this subject.

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.

I would like your opinions about assisted living

February 27, 2010. Tags: . 1. Leave a comment.

Are you prepared for long term health care?

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging (February, 2000) prepared a report describing long-term care as follows:
“Long-term care differs from other types of health care in that the goal of long-term care is not to cure an illness, but to allow an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning….
Long-term care encompasses a wide array of medical, social, personal, and supportive and specialized housing services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of a chronic illness or disabling condition.”

Here are some frightening statistics.
• By 2050, the number of people using paid long-term care services in any setting (at home, residential care such as assisted living, or skilled nursing facilities) will probably double from 13 million using services in 2000, to 27 million people.(1)

• The probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.(2)

• Nearly 79% who need Long-Term Care live at home or in community settings, not in institutions.

By the year 2030, many retirees will not have enough income and assets to cover basic expenditures or any expenses related to a nursing home stay or services from a home health provider.(3)Given these alarming statistics about the future of  health care for our seniors, what are you doing to be prepared? Is there any way for any average American to be fully prepared for the high probability of needing expensive long-term care? How much should we count on our government to help us? Should we all  have some form of long-term care insurance to help defray the escalating cost of care?  Would it make sense to be able to deduct money from your earned income each payday and apply it to a long-term care policy to help with the high cost of care should you need it just the way you deduct for a 401k? It could be set up like a Roth IRA for example. Do you have a plan to make your home accessible for wheelchairs? Do you know how to go about finding someone to retrofit your home to allow you to live there?  Does it even make sense to plan for this? Please share your comments.

1 Special Committee on Aging. Developments in Aging: 1997 and 1998, Volume 1, Report 106-229. Washington, DC: United States Senate, 2000.

2 AARP. Beyond 50: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability, 2003, (11 Jan 2005).

(3). Can America Afford Tomorrow’s Retirees: Results from the EBRI-ERF retirement security projection model [Issue brief # 263]. Washington DC: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2003. VanDerhei, J., and C. Copeland

February 25, 2010. Tags: , , , . 1. Leave a comment.