WELShift Blog - Post



Posted by: Jeff Petty Posted Date: 10/24/2013

Current Medicare and Medicaid programs are simply too costly to sustain. For example, Pennsylvania, with the second oldest population in the country, spent more than 24% of its General Fund in 2010 on Medicaid and long-term care related costs. Today, Medicaid and social services represent about 40% of the state’s budget, with 40% of those costs going towards long term care. Without further reform, the state will realize a dramatic increase in long-term care costs.


Medical homes, care coordination, accountable care organizations and chronic disease management are among the most promising strategies for lowering costs and improving senior health care delivery. WEL Shift embodies the core elements of these and other strategies in an optimal environment that will maximize their effectiveness.


The WEL Shift community would lower the total cost of care for seniors by providing on-site care coordination and disease management services to avoid hospitalizations. An interdisciplinary health care team, led by salaried primary care physicians, would integrate comprehensive primary and post-acute health care services and coordinate acute and specialist care.


Actual Medicare cost data shows that WEL Shift would save Medicare more than 30% for WEL Shift residents. Additionally, a 2009 study showed that the WEL Shift plan could result in Medicaid savings.
In conclusion, WEL Shift, a long term care model developed by continuing care retirement community provider Wesley Enhanced Living, features real reform that coordinates Medicare and Medicaid while creating incentives to provide quality senior care at a lower overall cost to the government.


The inherent savings in the program, as well as the comprehensive health and housing benefit, make the case for WEL Shift.

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