Medicaid spending for elder care costs hundreds of millions of dollars annually in each and every State. However, some jurisdictions are looking for innovative ways to cut elder care costs while still providing quality care to seniors.
In 2012, the State of Rhode Island reported spending more than $300 million dollars of Medicaid funding on nursing home care – which came at a cost of approximately $160 per day, per senior according to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. Likewise, Massachusetts reported spending enormous amounts of nursing home care associated with an average $172 per day pricetag.
However, in 2012, with the SeniorLink program, Massachusetts saved between $130 and $140 million dollars in Medicaid elder care spending. How? SeniorLink is a structured family caregiving program, like Rhode Island’s RIte@Home program, which provides payment to family caregivers rather than a nursing home – to care for senior loved ones.
In the State of Massachusetts, SeniorLink pays $83 per day per client to family caregivers, opposed to $172 per day for a nursing home bed. The savings is significant, and also allows family caregivers to keep seniors at home while working as their primary caregiver. While the State acknowledges that the stipend, which equates to about $17,000 per year isn’t a large amount, it’s often enough to keep family caregivers in the position of primary caregiver.
Home Care with Home Care Software May Also Be an Option
If a family member isn’t able to act as the primary caregiver in a state where Structured Family Caregiving programs are available, seniors may also be able to receive in home care from a home care agency under a waiver program. With the aid of a home care software or home care system, such as ClearCare, these caregivers can also provide in-home care, which often costs significantly less than the full-time skilled care of a nursing home.
With a home care software or home care system in place, caregivers can keep track of tasks for a client and administrators can keep clients on their required schedule with the help of robust scheduling component within ClearCare’s home care software and home care system.
Additionally, for agencies providing services under Medicaid and using the form CMS1500, ClearCare’s home care software can help streamline billing by providing compatibility with the form so that whether seniors choose to be cared for by their loved ones or via Medicaid waiver, home care agencies have the tools in their home care system to help manage all those required forms.