Long Term Care News - Week of September 21, 2020
So many great reports in this week's Reader. Lettuce know what you think! We always love your feedback.
The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth: Living longer is easy-- earn more money! As the chart above plots, the higher your household income, the greater your life expectancy. The difference between richest and poorest women is roughly 10 years, and for men about 15 years (JAMA study examined 1.4B records). Sadly, compared to similar countries, the US ranks "very poorly" in life expectancy, and has been falling since 1950, but it's not the elderly bringing our average down: "Among those older than 70 years, mortality in the US is relatively good; surviving to old age is where the United States does relatively poorly."
Think of it Like an Elimination Period: When the news reports on survey results asking people their opinion of, say, Medicare for All, this is the reason I take them with a grain of salt the size of Gibraltar. This vital context is missing all the time.
Cost Shifting: Medicare subsidizes Medicaid's low reimbursement rates, while private insurance subsidizes Medicare, paying ~250% more for hospital services.
If You Ain't Dutch, You Ain't Much: After a rosy 2018 webinar on Germany's LTC insurance program, I emailed the presenter to opine that the underlying data were less optimistic than the audience had just been led to believe. Forbes has now weighed-in on LTC in The Netherlands, reaching a similar conclusion: after utilization caused program costs to explode, the gov't cut reimbursement rates, decimating LTC providers and jeopardizing sustainability. A similar program in the US would cost most workers ~$3,700/yr in payroll taxes.
Weekly Breeder: Last week I posted a "Dad Joke," but some of you preferred the usual link to a cute puppy or kitten. How about we meet in the middle