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LTC Bullet: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


LTC Comment: Please read this Bullet and send us lather (compliments) or a shave (criticism) as you see fit. We'll use your positive feedback to help seek financial support for the Center from corporate and other donors. We'll use any negative feedback to correct our course and adapt to readers' preferences. Thanks for your time, attention and support. Now the ***news.***

*** TODAY'S BULLET is sponsored by Target Insurance Services and Claude Thau, who serve LTCI producers nationwide. They say "Target has unique capabilities in helping brokers find and service sponsored markets -- carve-out, association, financial institution, etc. Contact Claude Thau at or 800-999-3026, x2241 to discuss opportunities." Thanks so much, Target and Claude, for your generous support of the Center. Won't you help too? Please go to to sponsor an LTC Bullet. Find out how you can sponsor other Center activities (e.g., articles, speeches, conference "embed" reports) by contacting Amy Marohn-McDougall at 425-377-9500 or ***

*** LTC AUTHOR AND TRAINER MARILEE DRISCOLL has made the following offer: "PR Boot Camp Gets You Media & HELPS THE CENTER. Register for Marilee Driscoll's PR Boot Camp in either San Diego (Fri., 1/28) or Las Vegas (Fri., 2/18) and help the Center. Register by December 22 using coupon code CENTER and save $25 off the early registration price of $349 for this all-day program. AND, Marilee will make a generous donation to the Center in your name. Learn how to get quoted in the paper, interviewed on radio and TV. Learn how to do your own publicity. If you plan to outsource PR, attend to learn what a publicist can and can't do for you - and how to hire and manage a publicist. Media coverage positions you as the local expert. Get the power of the press on your side in 2005! For details and to register, go to and click on PR Boot Camp." ***

*** LTC GRADUATE SEMINAR DETAILS. Everything you need to know about upcoming programs is at for our January 6 seminar in Pasadena. For January 21 in Minneapolis, check out . For January 27 in Orlando, go to . Center President Steve Moses says: "We're very proud of the wonderful feedback we've received about this full-day advanced training class for senior financial advisors. Check out the glowing testimonials at and then join us for the program at your earliest opportunity. ***

*** LATEST DONOR-ONLY ZONE CONTENT: Here's the latest Zone content followed by instructions on how to subscribe so you can receive these critical epistles daily by email.

The LTC Data Update #4-042-- Private Payers Prefer and Obtain SNF/AL Combos (One more example of why it pays to pay privately for long-term care.)

The LTC Data Update #4-043--2005 Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Numbers (Check out the latest cost of living increases for Medicaid spouses.)

LTC E-Alert #4-064--The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves (Pay too little for quality care, then punish nursing homes for problems: the LTC slippery slope.)

The LTC Reader #4-051--Holiday Aging Shock (What happens when absent children suddenly become long-distance caregivers for aging and declining parents.)

Don't miss our "virtual visits" to major LTC industry conferences in The Zone. You'll find our comparison of the conferences, session summaries, interviews and pictures at .

Individual donors of $150 or more and corporate donors to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing receive our daily email LTC Bullets, LTC E-Alerts, LTC Readers, and LTC Data Updates for a full year. You'll also get access to the donor-only zone where these publications are archived along with other donor-only features. If you already qualify for The Zone, you can click the following link, enter your user name and password, and go directly to the latest donor zone content and archives: . If you do not already qualify for The Zone, mail your tax-deductible contribution of $150 or more to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, 2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, #110, Seattle, WA 98109. Then email your preferred user name and password (up to 10 characters each). You can also contribute online by credit card or direct withdrawal at . ***


Around this time every year, we give LTC Bullets readers a report on what the Center for Long-Term Care Financing has done for you during the past year. We solicit your comments, criticism and questions. We also invite your endorsements and testimonials if you think we've earned them. We do this in preparation for the Center's 2005 fundraising year.

The Center for Long-Term Care Financing's mission is to ensure access to quality long-term care for all Americans. We pursue this mission by promoting public policy that targets scarce public resources to the needy and encourages everyone else to plan early and save, invest or insure for long-term care.

Our strategy is to enlist the private sector's profit motive to relieve the fiscal burden on the public sector's service objectives. That's why we encourage long-term care insurance, home equity conversion and private investment as means to reduce avoidable dependency on Medicaid's nursing home benefit.

Working together, we can prepare most Americans to pay privately for long-term care. This outcome will benefit rich AND poor seniors, LTC providers, insurers, and tax payers. When most people can pay privately for long-term care, Medicaid will be able to provide better access to higher quality care across a wider range of services for a smaller clientele. Everybody wins.

So, what exactly has the Center for Long-Term Care Financing been doing to pursue our common mission since this time last year?

* WE PUBLISHED 50 "LTC BULLETS." The purpose of the Bullets is to educate, motivate, and persuade. We send them to a wide range of LTC experts including insurers, providers, media, legislators, all state governors, policy makers, lawyers, financial planners, senior advocates, think tanks, and academics. Over 5,000 people have subscribed to LTC Bullets, up from around 1800 when the Center began in April 1998. Today's Bullet is number 528 in the series. The Bullets are free to most subscribers, but we ask LTCI agents, brokers, and carriers to contribute financially to help support this and the Center's other services.

* WE PUBLISHED 64 LTC E-ALERTS, 51 LTC READERS, AND 43 LTC DATA UPDATES THIS YEAR. We call these publications the "DONOR-ONLY ZONE." Contributors of $150 or more annually (tax deductible) qualify to receive our "one-a-day" mental vitamins. The LTC E-Alerts, Readers and Data Updates are special, brief daily e-pistles designed to help LTCI producers translate the latest news, research and analysis into marketing ideas to help them help consumers obtain LTCI protection. Donor-Zoners also have access to our special features on the Center's password-protected area for donors only, including our Virtual Visits to major industry conferences. Find out how to qualify and sign up at .

* BYLINED PUBLICATIONS. One of the Center's most important services is to publish articles that advocate rational long-term care public policy. In the past year, Center President Stephen Moses bylined several articles on critical long-term care topics. Some examples include "Medicaid and LTCI: The CMS Perspective," Health Insurance Underwriter, Vol. 52, No. 2, February 2004, pps. 41-44, or online at ; "The Sirens' Call, the Primrose Path, and Assisted Living," Assisted Living, Vol. 2, No. 2, April 2004, p. 27, ; and "More Than Enough Assets to Solve LTC Financing," McKnights Long-Term Care News, Vol. 25, No. 11, October 4, 2004, p. 28, . Steve's chapter titled "The Coming Challenge of Long-Term Care" will be published in a forthcoming book by Allen Hamm and his colleagues. You can find a wide selection of Steve's articles at .

* TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND MAJOR REPORTS. Another important service of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing is to provide technical assistance to state Medicaid programs, public policy makers, legislators, and others. Some recent examples follow.

On September 7, 2004, we published "The Realist's Guide to Medicaid and Long-Term Care," a detailed explanation for state legislators of the long-term care service delivery and financing problem including practical advice on how to fix it. Read it at .

On September 8, 2004, we presented "The Long-Term Care Dilemma, What States Are Doing Right and Wrong," an abridged version of "The Realist's Guide" co-sponsored with the Council for Affordable Health Insurance and the American Legislative Exchange Council. Read it at or .

On December 7, 2004, we released the Center's latest report titled "What We Don't Know About Medicaid and Long-Term Care is Hurting Washington State." This report asks the critical questions that Washington's, and all states', legislators should be asking and answering before Medicaid collapses under the weight of long-term care costs. Read it at .

* WE PRESENTED THE LTC GRADUATE SEMINAR PROGRAM FIVE TIMES IN 2004, including a two-day, 12-credit-hour version for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama and a full day LTC Practicum for the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Board of Directors. The LTC Graduate Seminars are designed to give experienced and successful LTC professionals advanced training on the history, status quo, and options for change of long-term care service delivery and financing in the United States. The more you know about how long-term care in the U.S. came to be in the mess it's in today, the better able you will be to help families cope and to advocate for the necessary changes in public policy. The Center schedules LTC Graduate Seminars upon request for sponsors who provide a training room, other essentials, and a dozen or more attendees at $225 each.

* PUBLICITY. Another important role the Center plays is to get the word out through the media about the importance of planning for long-term care. We're quoted in hundreds of publications every year, most of which we never learn about unless readers fax or email us copies. Some examples this year include the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, and Broker World.

* INTERVIEWS. One of the reasons the Center for Long-Term Care Financing is so successful in getting the word out through media about the importance of LTC planning is that our readers and supporters frequently refer reporters to us. Keep it up! We've provided extended interviews most recently to reporters from the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, The Albuquerque Tribune, Kiplinger's, St. Petersburg Times, Michigan Public Radio, and the Associated Press.

* MEDIA. The Center for Long-Term Care Financing welcomes opportunities to appear on radio, television, or streamed internet media. Examples this year include Tom Kelly's financial planning radio show in Seattle and a debate with national LTC expert Dr. Joshua Wiener webcast by Sage/Crossroads on "Long-Term Care: Who Should Pay?" View this debate at .

* SPEECHES. In the past year, Center for Long-Term Care Financing staff delivered 16 formal speeches to a wide range of organizations and audiences. Some examples include: a "Medicaid Forum" for state legislators in Kansas; the Fourth Annual Society of Actuaries LTCi Conference; the House of Delegates of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging; several conferences of the American Legislative Exchange Council; the Wells Fargo Senior Products Summit; the MedAmerica Board of Directors; the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging 45th Annual Conference; the 17th Private Long-Term Care Insurance Conference; the California Association of Health Facilities; the New Hampshire Long-Term Care Rate Commission and the New Hampshire Health Care Association; and Wharton Business School MBA students and their professor on December 6, 2004 (tele-conference).

* BRIEFINGS. Besides delivering formal presentations across the United States, Center staff actively seek opportunities to provide informal briefings on long-term care policy to influential individuals and organizations. Some examples this year: Linda Sechovec, Executive Director of the New Mexico Health Care Association; Majority Floor Leader Danice Picraux of the New Mexico State House of Representatives; Ken Brown, President of the Gulf States Association of Homes and Services for the Aging; Mississippi Senator Patrick Nunnelee; Fred Watson, President of the Georgia Nursing Home Association; Louis Cottrell, Jr., Executive Director of the Alabama Nursing Home Association; Marilyn Ferguson, Director of the Long-Term Care Division of the State of Alabama Medicaid Agency; David C. Grabowski, Ph.D., of the Health Care Organization and Policy Faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham; five attorneys at the Alford Clausen law firm in Mobile, AL; Joe Moser, Legislative Assistant to the LTC Task Force Chair Congresswoman Heather Wilson; Erinn Kelley-Siel, Oregon Governor Kulongowski's Healthcare and Human Services Policy Advisor, and James Toews, the Director of Oregon's Senior and Disabled Services Division; Jessica Sutin, Health Policy Advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; Dr. Liz Stefanics, deputy Secretary for Programs, and Carolyn Ingram, Medicaid Director, of the New Mexico Human Services Department; Michelle Lujan-Grisham, New Mexico Secretary of Health; Commissioner John Stephen of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services; Matt Salo of the National Governors Association; Jim Cantwell of the House Budget Committee; and Washington State legislators.

* CONSULTING AND SPEAKING. To help support the Center for Long-Term Care Financing financially, Center staff are available for consulting, writing and speaking. We currently bill Center President Steve Moses's professional time at $225 per hour. Speaking engagements have a flat fee of $5,000 including travel expenses. All proceeds accrue to the Center and support our programs. We welcome sponsors, with published recognition, for public service programs that we cannot afford to do without financial support. Contact or to commission an article, engage a speaker, sponsor a Bullet, enter The Zone, or retain a consultant.

* EXPERT WITNESS WORK. New this year, the Center for Long-Term Care Financing is working with four law firms in the Southeast to help defend long-term care providers in tort liability cases. We explain to judges and juries how excessive dependency on low reimbursements from Medicaid drags down the ability of long-term care providers to ensure quality of care. The goal is to reduce injury to the long-term care service delivery system from excessive punitive damage settlements that remove desperately needed funds from already financially starved LTC providers.

* CORRESPONDENCE. The Center responds to numerous articles on long-term care in the national media. We write to authors and editors, thanking them for covering this important subject, correcting errors, suggesting new perspectives on the topic, and inviting them to receive LTC Bullets, visit the Center's web site, and contact us when they write on long-term care in the future. In this way, we have built a network of reporters and editors (such as syndicated columnists Jane Bryant Quinn of Newsweek, Terry Savage of the Chicago Sun Times, and many others) who check with us often before writing about long-term care. Our "reality check" series of LTC Bullets, often authored by Eileen Tell of The Long-Term Care Group, targets particularly bad articles on long-term care in an effort to correct, educate, and improve media coverage of the topic.

*** Everything the Center for Long-Term Care Financing does is aimed at encouraging responsible planning for long-term care. Let us know what you think of our efforts and please support the Center financially if you can. ***