As healthcare, and specifically long term care expenditures fall or stabilize, it was inevitable that someone would step up and take credit.
In a recent blog from Ohio, Greg Moody, director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation attributed credit for the state’s rebalancing of its long term care expenditures saying, “The key is that the governor has been fearless on a few things…” Really?
The governors fearlessness probably had nothing to do with the decline in births in the US and Ohio between 1925 and 1945 which is leading to a decline in the number of long term care consumers in the state and across the country. And I doubt the governor would want to take credit for the Great Recession, which has slowed the rate of healthcare spending.
(Should we ask the governor?)
The principle of rebalancing, which has its roots in the 1980s, is that those who can be cared for safely in their homes should stay in their homes, while those requiring congregate (institutional) care will find placement there. Very few people actually want to go to a nursing home. Later in the same blog, Howard Fleeter an economist states, “From a policy perspective, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Everyone understands that if you can tilt that balance [from institutional care to home and community based services] and keep people in their homes longer, it would keep people happy and save money.” Well said, if not quite on target.
The current situation, which will persist until 2020, is based on demographics and economics. States will continue to experience lower demand for age related services. The “age wave” of baby boomers born after 1945 will not reach their peak years of consuming long term care services for another 12-15 years. So reduced demand and lower expenditures are indeed a “no brainer” – because no brains are required.