Medicare cuts threaten elder care facilities – and prompt seniors to seek out creative alternatives


By Colleen Van Horn, RN, B.S.N., PHN, CCM

Earlier this summer, the federal government approved an 11.1% cut in Medicare rates effective on October 1, 2011. As that date nears, seniors and elder care professionals are now bracing for the impact of those cuts – and desperately seeking ways to slash expenses in preparation for significantly reduced reimbursements. Meanwhile, government officials and elected representatives continue to grapple with further deficit cuts to balance the national budget; and according to

Bloomberg Business Week

, gridlock may be the industry’s only protection against further cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefit programs – all of which would have a profound effect on health care employees, aging seniors and low-income individuals.

As the

National Real Estate Investor

reports, nursing home operators will bear the brunt of current Medicare cuts. But as developers halt plans to build new facilities and extend services at the same time that more and more baby boomers are advancing in age, the repercussions of first-wave rate reductions are likely to change the way many seniors plan for health care – and in some cases, require that elderly individuals, families and caregivers work together to prepare innovative solutions outside the nursing home mold.

Geriatric care management helps seniors navigate the changing world of subsidized healthcare

For many families, nursing homes are a natural solution to the increased need for assisted living that frequently accompanies advanced age. However, when such facilities are limited or unable to meet an individual’s needs, professional management can be a major asset in helping families determine the best alternative for optimal care. At

Innovative Healthcare Consultants

, we provide just that: expert geriatric care management to aid seniors and their loved ones in selecting long-term care arrangements that are affordable, accommodating and designed to suit custom health and lifestyle considerations.

By combining industry expertise with a compassionate and holistic approach to life-long care, our consultants take the stress and fear out of long-term planning. Within our full spectrum of service offerings, we provide:

  • Personalized need assessment
  • Comprehensive care planning
  • Coordination of all client care and services ranging from medical appointments to recreation
  • In-home caregiver training
  • Registered Nurse services and support
  • At-safety and emergency preparedness training
  • Financial and legal assessment and counsel

As the nation’s leaders continue to develop plans to reduce the country’s deficit and balance the books, we realize that it can seem impossible to rely on heretofore secure benefits via Medicare and Medicaid for healthcare needs far in the future. That’s why we offer continuing care and counsel throughout our client’s lives, and guarantee flexible customization to address each individual’s changing circumstances – be they health, lifestyle or budget-related. Put your mind at ease, and create the plan that works for you: learn more, at