9 Investigates: The Soaring Costs Of Medicaid
WFTV investigated the soaring costs of Medicaid, and government watchdogs said one simple change could save hundreds of millions of dollars.
Michael Claudio has trouble remembering basic tasks after encephalitis damaged his brain. The state could have spent $5,000 a year for in-home care, or $65,000 a year to send him to a nursing home. State Medicaid managers chose the nursing home and would have sent taxpayers the bill.
"I went on a waiting list for over two years just for some kind of assistance," said Michael Claudio.
Without help, Claudio's wife Linda kept serving as his full-time caregiver for as long as she could.
"My house is in foreclosure now, but I made a choice. He mattered more," said Linda Claudio.
The same situation happened to Carmen Martinez, who wanted a home health care aide to help with laundry and meals for her elderly father. Medicaid wouldn't pay for the help, but it would have payed up to 13 times more to send Martinez's father to an institution.
"The help I need, I don't have it," said Martinez.
An AARP survey showed that 84 percent of seniors prefer home care over a nursing home, and the group Florida Taxwatch said the state could save up to $397 million a year by switching more patients to in-home care.
The nursing home industry lobbied against it.
"I believe that some industries have a stronger voice when it comes to policy-making than maybe the average family has," said Mary Ellen Grant of Share The Care nursing home.
For more information about home care for your loved one, contact the caregivers at Andelcare. We help many elderly, disabled and veteran loved ones with quality and affordable home care in Seattle and the surrounding communities. Call 888-788-3051.