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Last week I attended the summit of the Westchester-Fairfield chapter of the National Post-Acute Care Continuum organization. One of their chief goals is to reduce 30-day hospital readmission rates. People who have serious, chronic needs can end up in the hospital again and again, and Medicare penalizes hospitals when this happens.

The keynote speaker made a powerful argument that family involvement and truly caring professionals are key factors in improving quality of life for people with long-term care needs. They also work to the benefit of the health care system, by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations.

Another speaker presented her findings that “Oral Nutritional Supplements” such as Ensure can actually reduce early hospital readmissions because frequently seniors have, or are at risk for, unrecognized malnutrition due to lack of appetite.

This group’s objectives mesh well with one of Lamson & Cutner’s goals, which is, to help enable people with long-term care needs to remain at home as long as possible. The financial aspect of this goal is a key component of an elderly or ill person’s care plan. By using Elder Law strategies such as setting up an “asset protection trust,” we help seniors and the disabled to become eligible for Medicaid, while enabling their money to be used for them without disqualifying them from receiving government benefits.

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