A little known incentive that exists in the Affordable Care Act, known as the Balancing Incentive Payments Program may prove instrumental in keeping seniors out of the nursing home much longer.
Blue and Red states from Mississippi to Connecticut are taking advantage of the $3 billion program designed to remove many of the barriers that keep people from accessing long-term care in their homes and communities.
It’s neither secret nor surprising to learn that seniors would rather not live in a nursing home. One study quoted in the USA Today article pegs the numbers at 9 out of 10 older citizens would rather be cared for in their home rather than a nursing home. Frankly, I’m surprised that number isn’t 10 out of 10.
States that participate in the program get a higher federal match for spending on home and community care. That means that if a state participating in the program spends a dollar on home or community care, the federal government will come closer to matching that dollar then they would for a state not participating in the program.
In order to participate in the program, states have to meet certain criteria that ensures that seniors are well informed and able to make their decisions. It’s a serious requirement, but well worth it in my opinion.
This is an issue worth following. The desire of seniors to stay out of nursing homes was what led to the rise of the “assisted living” community, a great idea that has, unfortunately, been infiltrated in many cases by greedy operators who put the lives of their residents in jeopardy to keep money flowing in.
There will always be a need for nursing homes. People with serious illnesses and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia need a place that can provide 24 hour a day care. Right now, however, laws and regulations have formed a funnel the drives thousands of seniors into nursing homes when all they need is a home delivered meal, some basic hygiene help, or medication dispensing.
As a nursing home lawyer, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many nursing home residents who suffer from nursing home neglect. Often, this neglect can be fatal. While this is a tragic outcome for the family, friends, and, of course, the victim, it often barely registers on the nursing home that quickly finds another person to fill the empty bed.
The only way to stop nursing home neglect is to take the profit away from nursing homes who neglect their residents. If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, contact my law offices for a free evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we earn a recovery for you.