Common Long-Term Care Planning Misconceptions

Many people share common concerns as they reach retirement age: Will they have the ability to remain independent in their homes without intervention from others? Are they going to be able to maintain good health and receive adequate health care? Will they have enough money for everyday needs and not outlive their assets and income? Despite the fact that thousands of Americans are concerned with these aspects of aging, many have failed to develop adequate long-term care plans that specify which services they will need and how they will pay for them. Unfortunately, many Americans also share common misconceptions about long-term care planning that may be factors in why individuals fail to establish a properly executed long-term care plan prior to when they need the services. Continue reading “Common Long-Term Care Planning Misconceptions”

New York Implements New Home Health Aide Law

On December 2, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed a bill which will increase the level of care that the nearly 300,000 home health aides across the state will be able to provide. If a home health aide completes additional training, they will be able to administer medications and monitor equipment for people in need of professional care at home. With the need of home health aides continuing to grow, the possibility of further advancement may encourage more people to enter the profession. Continue reading “New York Implements New Home Health Aide Law”

What is Managed Long-Term Care and What are My Available Options?

Managed long-term care is an option utilized by those who are disabled or chronically ill and need assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), but wish to remain within their homes and communities. Managed long-term care can be provided through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and managed long-term care plans.

PACE is a little-known Medicaid and Medicare program that provides comprehensive health care services to eligible members 55 years and older who are otherwise eligible to be admitted to a nursing home. PACE is available through 110 programs in the United States, eight of which are located in New York State.

According to AARP, PACE provides coverage of in-home care, checkups, doctor and dental services, hospital and nursing home stays, as well as prescription medication and some transportation. PACE is open to those enrolled in Medicaid and/or Medicare; some may need to pay a monthly premium based on coverage. All applicants are screened by a team of doctors, therapists and nurses who will determine whether an individual’s level of health and disability requires the level of care typically provided in a nursing home.

Managed long-term care plans provide long-term care services, such as home health care, nursing home care, ancillary and ambulatory services and are funded through Medicaid. Medicaid members can use their Medicaid and/or Medicare cards to pay for services rendered by their primary physicians. To be eligible for a managed long-term care plan, the individual must qualify for nursing home admission. Most enrollees must be 65 years or older to qualify for a managed long-term care plan; however, there are several plans in New York State that will accept younger applicants.

P&P Medicaid provides assistance to those who are seeking a home care program to meet their needs or the needs of their loved ones. We offer a comprehensive in-home assessment conducted by our case manager, who, with the assistance of a nurse, can help determine program eligibility. Together, the case manager, the client and their family caregivers can develop a comprehensive long-term care strategy that is reassessed on a regular basis.

For those seeking qualification for Medicaid, P&P Medicaid will handle the entire application and document acquiring process and appear on the applicant’s behalf for all interviews with the Department of Social Services (Medicaid). For more information about home care evaluation, Medicaid application or any of our other services, please call us at (516) 541-4770 for a consultation.

Are You Being Overprescribed?

Modern medicine is a marvel – it’s certainly one of the factors that has allowed human beings to develop new ideas and to flourish. The advent of hygiene helped us through the Dark Ages, literally. The discovery and understanding of germs decreased infant mortality rates. Penicillin nixed painful and often fatal infections. These discoveries, among many others, have helped us develop a complex medicinal treatment system which has saved countless lives. Medicine has even developed beyond survival and toward new goals of comfort, healing, and the extension of life. Today, it is prescribed for almost every thinkable ailment. But there comes a time to ask ourselves, “How much is too much?”

America is plagued by what some call an overtreatment epidemic, which particularly affects our most vulnerable – children, the disabled, and the elderly. Oftentimes, without the patient’s consent, potentially dangerous medications, such as antipsychotics and hypnotics, are prescribed, and since few would question the doctor’s orders, these patients could be taking pills they don’t need. No medication is without side effects, and it is usually in the patient’s best interest to be able to make an educated decision. A healthy dose of skepticism could be the right prescription: Is a blood pressure medication right for me if it causes me to faint? Do I really need to take steroids to control my asthma? Is it worth it to take a prescription just because it negates the serious side effects of another?

According to The New York Times, over 40 percent of people aged 65 and up take five or more medications, and, every year, nearly one-third of that percentage experiences a “serious adverse effect.” A panel of 11 geriatric care and pharmacology experts updated the Beers Criteria, guidelines whose purpose is to prevent or at least minimize drug-related catastrophes in senior citizens. The team commenced a review of more than 2,000 research studies of drugs prescribed for older adults and highlighted 53 potentially disastrous medications or classes of medication; with these figures in mind, The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society also published its own research on the subject in 2012.

The act of taking drugs itself can easily become overwhelming. Since it is frequently difficult to keep track of one’s medications, senior citizens are encouraged to utilize the Foundation for Health in Aging’s “drug and supplement diary” and to share the list with every health care provider they see. It is best to seek the expert advice of a doctor before making any long-term decisions that could affect your health.

If you are concerned for your well-being or the well-being of a loved one, consult the experts in geriatric care management. P&P Medicaid provides a full range of geriatric care management services to help individuals and their families make decisions about and oversee their long-term care needs. Please call P&P Medicaid Consulting, Inc. at (516) 541-4770 for more information.