LTC Bullet: Strike While the LTC Iron is Hot!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Santa Fe, New Mexico--

LTC Comment: We have today the best opportunity to fix long-term care since the recession that led directly to DRA '05. See a battle plan and how you can participate, after the ***news.***

*** WALL STREET JOURNAL to review Medicaid planning abuses. A WSJ reporter interviewed me yesterday for a story on how the affluent mis-appropriate Medicaid to access better LTC than the welfare program provides to the poor. She wants to find real-life egregious cases. I explained why those are hard to identify. Families that do Medicaid planning are too ashamed to talk about it; Medicaid planning attorneys hide behind lawyer/client privilege; LTC providers and Medicaid staff can't disclose examples because of confidentiality rules. If you know of people who've done large scale Medicaid planning and are willing to talk about the experience, please contact Steve Moses at 425-891-3640 or I'll pass the information on to the Wall Street Journal reporter. Likewise, contact me if you would like to commission a special study to identify abusive Medicaid planning cases. It can be done, but it is very time consuming and labor intensive. ***



LTC Comment: We have an extraordinary opportunity right now to expand the market for private LTC financing alternatives, to save Medicaid LTC for the needy, and to improve long-term care for all Americans.

Why now? What's different?

The financial crisis has cut state tax revenues and increased welfare rolls dramatically. State budgets are busted. Critical services are being cut. People, especially the poor, will be hurt.

Policy makers need new ideas. The budgetary predicament has opened their minds. They're ready to consider proposals that would be too politically sensitive in better economic times.

We have the analysis and recommendations they need. The challenge is communication. Their problems need to find our solutions and vice versa.

That's where you come in.

Last year, on the "LTC Tour," I worked closely with Regional Representatives of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform in local areas all around the United States. Our Regional Reps opened doors to the media, policy makers, consumers and advisors.

This year, I want to build on that momentum and mobilize a team of LTC policy activists. Let's call it a "Spearhead Committee" for now. Are you game?

Here's what's involved.

-- A few hours of your time each month . . . or not. If you'd rather just support the campaign financially, that's fine too.

Doing what?

-- Forwarding our proposals, articles, op-eds and ideas, preferably with your personal touch in a cover note, to key people and organizations in your local area.

What and to whom, for example?

-- Perhaps a study proposal to the state Medicaid director; or an offer to consult with a state think tank on LTC policy; or a "query letter" I'll draft for an article to a newspaper or magazine; or a recommendation for Steve Moses to speak to an important affinity group; or who knows what we'll come up with brainstorming together!

Brainstorming, how?

-- Well, how about monthly conference calls, maybe facilitated with webinar technology so we can share documents and action plans? I have lots of ideas, but you'll have even more. Together, we'll strategize, plan and execute.

Does the Center for Long-Term Care Reform have the resources to support this kind of effort?

-- No, not enough, but you can help there too while you help your own business simultaneously. We'll work on getting paid speaking engagements which get me into town. Then, we'll do radio and TV, reach out to LTC provider associations and other professional groups, conduct "group talks" for the public and/or potential referral sources. There's no end to how we can advance the cause of responsible LTC planning as we demonstrate our expertise--yours and mine--to media, government, business and community leaders.

OK, what's the cost?

-- Same as last year. $500 to the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. That gets you a full year's premium membership in the Center; all our publications; password-protected access to The Zone including the "Almanac of Long-Term Care"; free access to our 8-hour "LTC Graduate Seminar" webinar (a $225 value); my availability 24/7 for queries or consultation; full participation in the campaign described above; the right to become a Regional Representative of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform if you qualify; and a day of my time on site if I'm scheduled to be in your city for any reason during the year.

That's a stretch. How can you make such a commitment?

-- It's the mission, not the money. But no money, no mission. That's why we try hard to fund the Center through activities that contribute to the mission AND expand members' earnings capacity. It has to be win/win.

The Center has corporate members. How will they be represented?

-- Corporate members of the Center will have automatic premium member status and may participate in all deliberations and activities of the Spearhead Committee.

If I'm interested, what do I do next?

-- Just call or email me at 206-283-7036 or Damon can help you also at the same phone or Thanks for your interest and consideration.

-- If you were a Regional Representative of the Center last year during our "National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour," I'll contact you personally, seek your advice, and invite you to participate again this year.

That's the plan. This is a chance for us to work closely together toward common goals. I'm excited about getting started. Let's make our "2009 Save Medicaid LTC" campaign even more successful than last year's "National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour."