State experimentation to cut expenditures on Medicaid continues: Florida is planning to funnel almost all of its Medicaid recipients into for-profit H.M.O. networks that will manage long term care of the elderly. This decision indicates a shift from caring for many of the elderly in nursing homes to expanding home care, which is currently very limited in Florida.
While pending legislation in Florida might succeed in curtailing the Medicaid budget, it seems clear that patient care will suffer. As for-profit insurance companies seek to maximize their profits, reimbursement rates to providers will be under pressure, doctors will opt out of networks, and patient care and benefits will be restricted.
At Lamson and Cutner, we recognize that the Federal and State governments are going to be trying out different tactics to reduce Medicaid costs. While it may be important for budgetary reasons to do so, we believe that patient care must remain the first priority, and that there are available solutions for government to reduce costs that do not imply reductions in care.
The current attacks on the Medicaid system make it all the more important for patients and their families to seek competent legal advice. If you need help with Elder Law issues, please feel free to contact our firm.