LTC Bullet: Rhode Island Read

Friday, September 18, 2009


LTC Comment: Projo publishes Moses op-ed and Medicaid official urges funding for our full study. Details follow.



LTC Comment: If you were in Rhode Island yesterday, you might have read our op-ed titled "Rhode Island Medicaid Has Sprung a Leak" in the Providence Journal (

It's the same piece of which we gave you a sneak peek in Monday's LTC Bullet: How Medicaid LTC Sprung a Leak.

Now read the online version at Projo's website here.

But this is the big news!

Rhode Island's new Medicaid director has asked for our help with "an in-depth research project that would specifically identify areas for potential long-term care reform."

She adds her hope that "this expression of support will help you secure the appropriate funds to do so."

See Rhode Island Medicaid Director Elena S. Nicolella's full letter below. Note that it is addressed to William Felkner, Executive Director of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute. OSPRI published our report locally. Steve Moses is OSPRI's "Health Policy Fellow."

All right, folks, the ball's in our court now. A few months ago, we announced that Rhode Island's "Global Medicaid Waiver" offers a unique opportunity to reform long-term care financing and develop a model system for the United States.

A group of you, honored by name in our recent Rhode Island mini-report--"The Ocean State, the Age Wave and Long-Term Care"--contributed nearly $9,000 to finance our preliminary review.

To conduct the "in-depth" study that Rhode Island Medicaid is requesting, we'll need a minimum of $35,000. So far, OSPRI has not been able to raise those funds, although they are still trying.

So, here's our appeal.

We have in Rhode Island right now the opportunity of a lifetime to design a better long-term care financing system, to save Medicaid as a safety net for people most in need, and to unleash the tremendous potential of responsible long-term care planning and private LTC financing alternatives.

All we need is financial support to finish the work we started last Summer in Rhode Island. If there is an individual, company, organization or foundation out there willing to help, let us know.

We're requesting a targeted grant of $35,000 or more to OSPRI for the purpose of funding this study that Steve Moses will conduct personally. Thanks for your consideration. OSPRI and the Center for Long-Term Care Reform will recognize the donor publicly at every opportunity and in our final report.

Following is the Rhode Island Medicaid Director's letter.




Department of Human Services
600 New London Avenue
Cranston, R.I. 02920


William Felkner, Executive Director
Ocean State Policy Research Institute
P.O. Box 2401
Providence, RI 02906

Dear Mr. Felkner:

It was a pleasure meeting with you and Mr. Stephen Moses earlier this summer. As we discussed, the Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver provides Rhode Island with the unique opportunity to implement major reform in our Medicaid program. We believe this opportunity will not only provide a sustainable Medicaid program for Rhode Island, but it will also provide an example for other states as they all deal with rising Medicaid costs.

At that meeting we spoke about the various aspects of financial eligibility criteria for Medicaid-funded long-term care services. Both you and Mr. Moses explained where savings and efficiencies might be found in that area. I have received and read the report entitled, "The Age Wave, The Ocean State, and Long-Term Care."

While we are not in full agreement with all the conclusions in the report, we are very interested in exploring some of the concepts further. We would welcome further discussions and collaborations with Ocean State Policy Research Institute as well as the Center for Long-term Care Reform.

At our summer meeting, you proposed to perform an in-depth research project that would specifically identify areas for potential long-term care reform. I look forward to working with the Institute as you complete the proposed research project and hope this expression of support will help you secure the appropriate funds to do so. [Emphasis added.]

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Elena S. Nicolella
Medicaid Director