Navigation Links
Cutting Medicaid Hospice Benefit Would Cost Florida More, Put Neediest Individuals at Risk
Date:12/30/2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State of Florida's proposed elimination of the Medicaid benefit that provides hospice care to some of the state's most fragile individuals actually would cost Florida millions more than the state currently spends - adding to the state's budget deficit rather than reducing it - according to a newly released study commissioned by Florida Hospices and Palliative Care (FHPC), the statewide group representing all of the state's hospice providers.

FHPC engaged The Moran Company, a Washington-based health care research and consulting firm, to examine the state's financial assumptions and develop an independent evaluation of the impact of eliminating the Medicaid Hospice Benefit, as recommended by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). The study reviewed actual state data for fiscal year 2007 and concluded that if the cut had been in place at that time, the state's health care budget would have been $3.7 million more. In contrast to the findings of the Moran Company report, AHCA claims cutting the benefit for fiscal year 2009 would save the state $343 million in Medicaid payments.

FHPC Executive Director Paul Ledford said, "This report reinforces our view that Florida can't afford to take this misguided approach to dealing with its budget difficulties, especially since it will only make the budget situation worse. Cutting the Medicaid Hospice Benefit doesn't mean the needs of the terminal patient change; it just shifts those costs to more expensive ways of delivering those vital services.

"We appreciate the financial challenges that Florida's government faces, but cutting the Medicaid Hospice Benefit simply isn't the answer - or even a part of the answer," Ledford added.

The report contained the following major findings:

-- Eliminating the Medicaid Hospice Benefit will not save the state money, and likely will result in increased spending for mandatory services. The report conservatively estimates an additional $3.7 million in state Medicaid costs, as patients needing end-of-life care would end up in more expensive settings, such as hospital emergency rooms.

-- Such action also will likely increase the burden on Florida counties to provide indigent care through already financially stressed indigent care programs.

-- The loss of the service coordination, care management, and supportive services offered by hospice will increase fragmentation of care for terminally ill patients, limit their access to palliative care, and burden families and caregivers, potentially limiting their employment and educational options.

-- The beneficiaries in Florida's Medicaid hospice program are different from the Medicare population that dominates hospice services. Florida Medicaid-only hospice patients are younger and more likely to be in the terminal stages of cancer or have HIV/AIDS related conditions than Medicare or dual Medicare/Medicaid patients. Their average length of stay in hospice is shorter, and their care is more likely to be complex and involve management of severe symptoms that, unmanaged, trigger emergency room visits and/or hospitalization.

-- The cut also would mean that Florida will lose revenue. For every dollar Florida cuts in the hospice benefit, the state will lose $1.25 in matching Federal Medicaid support.

The research study also noted that, until now, every other state that has studied wiping out the Medicaid Hospice Benefit has rejected that approach for precisely the same reason - it ends up costing more money than would be "saved." In fact, Connecticut recently added the benefit, and now only two states do not offer it.

"Hospice has a vital place in health care," noted Anthony J. Palumbo, FHPC President and CEO of Hospice of Citrus County and Hospice of the Nature Coast. "In addition to the compassionate, hands-on medical care we provide, we also take care of our patients' psychosocial and spiritual needs. We care for patients as well as their loved ones."

"Hospice is an all-inclusive benefit," Palumbo added. "Every visit by our nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, physicians and community-based volunteers is covered by a per diem payment that is widely recognized as cost-effective. And, from that same small per diem payment, hospices provide patients - without charge - all of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, medical equipment and medical supplies associated with a patient's primary diagnosis. Hospices also offer bereavement care to each patient's loved ones for up to a year after the patient has died, all at no additional cost to the health care payment system."


'/>"/>
SOURCE Florida Hospices and Palliative Care
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Over 500,000 Health Care Providers Now Cutting Costs, Saving Time Through CAQH Administrative Simplification Initiative
2. Cutting Salt Wont Affect Foods Safety
3. Prize for Cutting-Edge Laser Innovations
4. Fern Tree, The Spa at Half Moon, Jamaicas Premier Spa, Opens With Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting
5. The era of global aging: GSA showcases cutting-edge San Francisco meeting topics
6. Cutting Edge CyberKnife Cancer Treatment Center to Open in Tampa Bay Area
7. Financial incentives may hold key to cutting child malaria deaths
8. FDA Mulls Cutting Salt in Processed Foods
9. New Democracy Corps Battleground Poll of Swing Districts Finds Strong, Bi-Partisan Opposition to Cutting Medicare-Funded Nursing Home Care
10. Cutting caffeine may help control diabetes
11. Verizon teams with MCG to test cutting-edge technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... of commercial real estate proudly announced that its service-based charitable program, Olshan Outreach, ... members portfolio-wide will continue Olshan Properties’ annual philanthropic tradition in 2016 with the ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Columbia, MD (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 ... ... Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society™ and Canadian Association for Enterostomal ... matchmaking, event promotion, time saving and planning tools to attendees and exhibitors for ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 2016 , ... All-Star Insurance of Northeast TX has announced ... their local community. The agency pledges to select a new beneficiary every 60 ... bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and other support, by forming ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Island (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... in April 2016. SS&A teamed up with one of the top website design ... information portal contains informative legal articles related to the law firm's main practice ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... foundational nutrients that supports cellular and metabolic health. This synergistic combination of omega-3 ... free-form curcumin, along with 150 mg of reduced glutathione and 200 mg of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 Valeritas Holdings, ... an alternative public offering (APO). This was accomplished via ... Valeritas, Inc. and a private placement of approximately 5 ... per share. Under the terms of the ... Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade on the OTC Markets ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Actinic Keratosis Market ... to their offering.       (Logo: ... Keratosis Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, ... products, Actinic Keratosis epidemiology, Actinic Keratosis market ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 4, 2016 Research ... "Global Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Outlook 2020" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,Recombinant technology has improved significantly ... expected to be developed in coming years. Many cancer ... Cancer stem cell therapies are also expected to be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: