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LTC Bullet:

Economist Shares Thoughts on LTC

Check out LTC News & Comment's interview with Christine Bishop, Ph.D., professor at the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University. The interview will be published in the 11/99 issue, but you can read it on-line now at

The following are excerpts from the interview:

"Even though Medicare has never represented a huge portion of nursing home revenue, it seems to have been the main source of positive margin for an industry losing private-pay patients and facing Medicaid rates that have seldom covered costs. The financial instability of this industry is just beginning to show. In Massachusetts, for example, 10% of the nursing homes are owned by firms that have filed for bankruptcy protection."

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"We may see a real crisis in nursing home access, because of the increasing dependence of nursing homes on Medicaid and the labor-cost pressure of tight job markets. This could also increase the demand for private insurance, as consumers realize that, if they need nursing home care, they will want more daily services than the Medicaid rate buys in most states."