Shutting Down Adult Day Health Centers Could be Costly
|June 10, 2011||Posted by Ashley Cohen under Blog||
In California, 37,000 low-income seniors and persons with disabilities receive care at adult day health centers (ADHCs). ADHCs provide part-time care to seniors, including treatment for chronic diseases, mental health counseling and physical therapy, and allow them to live at home. Medicaid reimburses $76 per day for care at ADHCs compared to $200 per day for 24/7 care at nursing homes. Earlier this year, legislation was passed to eliminate funding for the program. Although this cut provides immediate savings for the state, a Lewin Group study found that it would actually cost California more than it would save. Alternative care costs would be shifted to Medicare, including costly emergency room visits and care at nursing homes. Under Medicaid, ADHC is an optional benefit and can therefore be legally eliminated.
California recently received a $1M grant to better coordinate care for dual eligibles. Advocates say that ADHCs might not be around long enough to benefit from this funding.
Although there were mentions of either providing $85M in funding for ADHCs (approximately half of the $177M allocated in 2010) or funding the ADHCs with a federal waiver, neither option was included in the May budget revise. AB 96 (Blumenfield) would provide $85M for a new adult day health care program through a federal waiver. The bill passed the Assembly and is now before the Senate.