‘Public Policy’ Posts

Life Insurance Conversion to Pay for Long Term Care Services

April 4th, 2013 by Doris Bersing

senior-coupleDavid Kitaen, a Marin County, California resident, and a specialist in long term care insurance, has been lobbying to make this option a reality. The possibility for those who do not have other meas or need an option, to convert their life insurance into long term care insurance to pay for their care as they age and need more assistance.

He addresses specially the home care agencies and say: “…Home Care Agencies- pay attention to this article on Long-Term Care Insurance- it’s a new spin on an old idea that many people wish in hindsight they had taken advantage of at a younger age. It IS important for Home Care Agencies to have EVERY EDGE when they are marketing themselves. There is no reason why your agency can’t become an expert in filing Long-Term Care Insurance claims….read on!


Aging In Place: New Initiatives Around the Country

October 24th, 2012 by Doris Bersing

Aging in PlaeRobin Stone, Researcher and Former Assistant Secretary for Aging wrote that “…Aging in place isn’t as easy as it sounds … she continues…Of course, we can’t yet guarantee that aging in place won’t be an exhausting struggle for older adults and their families. We have a lot more work to do before every older American can grow old easily wherever they choose…”

What Ms. Stone refers to has also to do with new initiatives that around the country are growing to pay more attention to the physical environment of our seniors to help them age gracefully, in place. Most important, she says,  “…we want to make sure that older adults … can look forward to living their later years exactly the way they want to live, in the place they want to call home.Read the article

AgeTech California Releases 2012 Telehealth White Paper

June 15th, 2012 by Doris Bersing

The AgeTech California 2012 Telehealth White Paper seeks to promote the benefits of telehealth, such as cost savings and improved patient satisfaction, and the adoption of telehealth by payers, such as Medicare, Medi-Cal, and private insurance.

In addition to discussing an update on telehealth legislation and activities in California, the white paper also details telehealth advancements in other states including Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota and Colorado. As a useful tool which will be distributed to legislators, the paper concludes with policy recommendations to encourage California’s leadership in connected independence.

Read the paper

Building a Safety Net for Elder Care: More Home-Based Models are Needed

July 20th, 2010 by Doris Bersing

old man bow one's head on his wife shoulderThe St. Louis Today, reported on the need that our communities have  to build a strong home-based and community-based system for those who can pay for care and those who can’t pay for it.  Building a safety net for those in need is the focus of the 35th Annual National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Conference & Tradeshow, which kicked off over the weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in St. Louis during the weekend of July 22-24, 2010.

The facts are well known, the St Louis Today reports: “…By 2030, about 72 million Americans will be 65 or older — roughly twice the number in 2000, according to estimates by the National Institute on Aging. While plenty of attention has been given to how this coming tidal wave of seniors will strain Medicaid, aging specialists and health care advocates are also beginning to address the “forgotten population” — those who may have enough assets to pay for some health care services but not the cost of a long-term nursing home.

It can be a difficult population to care for. Typically, people 80 or older have one chronic disease; those 85 or older have two chronic diseases. Many of these seniors also have problems doing everyday tasks such as cooking meals, washing their clothes or tying their shoes. On average, 24-hour care in a nursing home runs about $60,000 a year…” Therefore the need for building that safety net for all elders.

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Caring for The Elder at Home: The Need For a New Paradigm.

June 29th, 2010 by Doris Bersing

Family meetingThe increasing number of people turning 65, the high number of elders with health constraints, and the sky-rocketing price of health care posits the question of how are we going to care for all the elders who constitute, today the upcoming silver tsunami?

More than 40 percent of adult patients in acute care hospital beds are 65 or older. Seventy million Americans will have turned 65 by 2030. They include the 85-and-older cohort, the nation’s fastest-growing age group. Elderly people often have multiple chronic illnesses, expensive to treat, and they are apt to require costly hospital re-admissions, sometimes as often as 10 times in a single year. Living Well Assisted Living at Home has designed a new model of comprehensive care that will help care for elders at home, including those who are frail, recovering from surgery, accidents or any illness. The model also strives to care for those suffering from dementia, at home.

In an article written by Milt Freudenheim for the Health section of the New York Times, in June 28, 2010, we find how geriatricians and other professionals are lobbying for best practices in the field of aging.  In the article it is stressed the fact of how “..to stay independent, the elderly will need to stay healthy. Many of these people could be back on the golf course and enjoying their grandchildren if we did the right thing for them,” said Mary D. Naylor, a longtime geriatric care researcher and professor of gerontology in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsilvania. Her research showed that even fragile older people could avoid a quick return to the hospital if they are managed by teams of nurses, social workers, physicians and therapists, together with their own family members. Hospital re-admissions, which cost $17 billion a year, could be reduced by 20 percent — $3.5 billion — or more, she said…” Obviously a new approach to care for the elder is imperative if we wnat to promote wellness in this sector of the population and reduce the increasing costs of caring for seniors.

Mr. Freudenheim continues by saying: “…Many internists, family physicians and other primary care doctors are lobbying for payments for a team approach based in the physician’s office. The concept, which they call a patient-centered medical home, will be tried out under the new health care law by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurers. Secretary Sebelius has called the medical home idea “one of our most promising models for improving the quality of care and bringing down health care costs…”

Read the article.

Combined goal: Moving 37,000 seniors out Nursing Homes!

April 22nd, 2010 by Doris Bersing

An article in USA Today, reinforces the concept of Living Well Assisted Living at Home, which supports people aging AT HOME. Although at some point seniors need to “get better” and recover at rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, eventually the final goal is going back home. The article states that even the government is paying for people to get out of nursing homes. The program gives nursing home residents personal and financial help to live on their own or in small group settings, as well as payments for costs such as apartment security deposits, household furniture and alterations to make homes or cars accessible to the handicapped.

This proves that we are right! Read the article

Dispelling The Myth: Baby Boomers Are Not as Healthy as They Think They Are

April 20th, 2010 by Doris Bersing

Many people age 55 to 64 have chronic conditions, but technological improvements have widened their health care options.

The oldest end of the baby boom generation, people now age 55 to 64, is consuming health care in greater amounts than same-aged individuals did in prior generations, according to a March report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Victoria Stagg Elliott of amednews staff says: “It’s an interesting age group because they are the next one eligible for Medicare services,” said Virginia Freid, the paper’s lead author and an NCHS statistician. “This presents a real concern for Medicare in the future.” Read More