In a Feb. 10, 2011, letter to the editor, Lance Reynolds, board president of Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay Alameda, comments on the economics of adult day health care.
Adult day care makes sense
ELIMINATING MEDI-CAL payments for Adult Day Health Care will not reduce the California deficit. It will increase it by $51 million, according to The Lewin Group May 2010 study.
The increase could be larger if the organization, on whose board I serve, Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay, is typical. We are a 501(c)(3) charity -- yet the state receives our charity.
It costs us $30 a day above the Medi-Cal reimbursement for each of our 100 Medi-Cal clients. That is $3,000 a day we must find from donors.
The state is legally obligated, and federal health-care policy encourages states, to minimize institutional care. Adult Day Health Care, for many working caregivers, avoids committing a demented and chronically ill parent to a nursing home. All Medi-Cal reimbursed clients are nursing home eligible.
If ours opt for nursing homes, the state cost is $3.65 million versus Medi-Cal state reimbursement of $950,000. With 200 Adult Day Health Care organizations in the state, the Lewin $51 million figure seems conservative, particularly when elimination will increase unemployment.
The current Adult Day Health Care Medi-Cal reimbursement program makes sound fiscal sense.