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AARP ranks Rhode Island 32nd among states in meeting long-term care needs

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Source: AARP ranks Rhode Island 32nd among states in meeting long-term care needs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island ranks 32nd in the nation, and the worst in New England, when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, according to a scorecard released this week by the national nonprofit AARP.

The good news: Rhode Island showed improvement in all but one category.

“The vast majority of older Rhode Islanders want to live independently, at home, as they age — most with the help of unpaid family caregivers,” Kathleen Connell, state director of AARP Rhode Island, said in a statement released Wednesday. “Even facing tight budgets, Rhode Island is making progress to help our older residents achieve that goal. However, this scorecard shows we have more to do, and we need to pick up the pace.”

Rhode Island ranks 22nd nationally “support for family caregivers” and 24th in “quality of life and quality of care.” The state ranks 35th in “effective transitions,″ or how effectively the state transitions residents between nursing homes, hospitals and homes — the only category that showed a decline.

The report — “Picking Up the Pace of Change: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers” — is the third in a series that ranks states overall and on 25 separate indicators in five key areas: affordability and access; choice of setting and provider; quality of life and quality of care; support for family caregivers; and effective transitions between nursing homes, hospitals and homes.

Unpaid family caregivers provide the bulk of care for older Rhode Islanders, in part because the cost of long-term care remains unaffordable for most middle-income families, according to AARP Rhode Island. More than 134,000 Rhode Islanders help care for their aging parents, spouses and other loved ones so they can stay at home. AARP estimates the value of this unpaid care at about $1.78 billion.

“Many [family caregivers] juggle full-time jobs with their caregiving duties,″ Connell said, while “others provide 24/7 care for their loved ones.” Family caregivers “save the state money,″ she said, “by keeping their loved ones out of costly nursing homes – most often paid for Medicaid.″

Rhode Island improved its rank from 50th to 44th in the percentage of Medicaid long-term care dollars for older adults and people with physical disabilities that support care at home and in the community.

The report comes at a time when proposals in Washington are being considered to drastically cut federal Medicaid funding, which Connell said “would threaten these advancements, likely resulting in our most vulnerable citizens losing the lifesaving supports that they count on.″

The scorecard was developed AARP with the support of The Commonwealth Fund and SCAN Foundation.

The AARP Rhode Island has more than 138,000 members age 50 and older in the state.

New England Scorecard Rankings (best to worst):

Vermont: 3

Connecticut: 10

Massachusetts: 11

New Hampshire: 16

Rhode Island: 32

Rhode Island’s scorecard:

Overall: 32

Affordability and Access: 34

Choice of Setting and Provider: 30

Quality of Life & Quality of Care: 24

Effective Transitions: 35

-larditi@providencejournal.com

(401)277-7335

On Twitter: @LynnArditi

Pre-Planning versus Emergency Planning

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Pre-Planning vs. Emergency Planning

This video explains the difference between pre-planning and emergency planning when confronted with planning for long-term care and skilled nursing care and Medicaid qualification.

Posted by Rhode Island Medicaid Planning on Monday, June 5, 2017

Don’t Sell The House In A Panic – Plan Ahead!

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Worried about how you are going to pay for your medical bills? Think the only solution is to sell the house to create the cash that you will need? Don’t make uninformed decisions! There are options available that will allow you to receive the care you need without needing to sell the house.

Whether you need to do emergency planning or if you have the benefit of 5 years of expected health – we have options for you.

We meet with you, discuss your specific facts, goals and concerns, and advise you as to your best legal options.

Don’t panic – call us today for a free consultation.

Matt Leonard

Deloitte to pay R.I. $27 million for Medicaid Computer failures

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Deloitte Consulting, the contractor for the state’s troubled public-benefits computer system, has agreed to credit the state $27 million to cover problems associated with the system’s launch.   The credit will cover a “temporary hiring surge” at the state Department of Human Services and other personnel expenses. It will also pay for contracted service expenses for the remainder of the current fiscal year and the first quarter of fiscal 2018, according to a statement

Source: Deloitte to pay R.I. $27 million for UHIP failures

Legal battles brewing over Aaron Hernandez’s estate

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BOSTON — How much money and property did former NFL star Aaron Hernandez leave behind, and who has a rightful claim to those assets? Legal battles have been brewing for years over who should get Hernandez’s money, but his suicide in prison last week ramped up those questions and more. Here’s a look at the various legal claims and the key players: THE PLAYER Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, and played football at the University of Florida, was considered an up-and-coming

Source: Legal battles brewing over Aaron Hernandez’s estate

Hospitals Now Must Provide Notice About Observation Status

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Hospitals Now Must Provide Notice About Observation Status

All hospitals must now give Medicare recipients notice when they are in the hospital but only under observation status. The notice requirement is part of a law enacted in 2015 but that just took effect. Signed by President Obama in August 2015, the law
was intended to prevent surprises after a Medicare beneficiary spends days in a hospital under “observation” and is then admitted to a nursing home. Medicare covers nursing home stays entirely for the first 20 days, but only if the patient was first admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days. Many beneficiaries are being transferred to nursing homes only to find that because they were hospital outpatients all along, they must pick up the tab for the subsequent nursing home stay.

The law, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act, did not eliminate the practice of placing patients under “observation” for extended periods, but it does require hospitals to notify patients who are under observation for more than 24 hours of their outpatient status within 36 hours, or upon discharge if that occurs sooner. The Act required hospitals to begin giving patients this notice as of March 8, 2017. Some states, including California and New York, already require such notice.

To avoid violating the law, hospitals that accept Medicare patients will now have to explain to patients under observation that their hospital stay will not count toward the three-day inpatient stay requirement and that they will be subject to Medicare’s outpatient cost sharing requirements. The law does not make hospital observation stays count towards Medicare’s three-day requirement.

While these 100 days of skilled nursing care that is covered by Medicare is an important benefit to be aware of and to plan for, the more significant issue that people need to plan for is long term skilled nursing expenses that exceed the 100 days and planning to pay for those expenses. Married and single individuals are encouraged to plan for these expenses 5 years ahead of expected need to be in the best possible position to preserve the assets they have acquired during their lifetime. If the medical needs are unexpected, emergency planning steps can be taken as well. Meeting with a skilled elder law attorney who can review and explain qualifying for Medicaid after Medicare runs out is vitally important for the financial well being of you and your loved ones.