New York City may be facing a predicament as the prevalence and popularity of social adult day care centers is on the rise, especially in the Brooklyn area.
With the largest Medicaid budget in the country at $54 billion, the city is trying to find a way to balance spending for institutional care with less expensive care methods that allow people to remain in their communities.
These spending concerns arise as the number of social adult day care centers has grown from eight programs to 192 centers across the city.
Why has the number grown so much so quickly? The answer lies within their aggressive marketing tactics. To entice people, a facility may offer $50 for a referral, money each week, free food to take out, a grocery coupon, or an unlimited MetroCard.
Medicaid indirectly pays for the cost of attendance. Managed care companies pay the adult day care centers to provide services to its clients. In return, the centers refer new clients to these companies.
“Centers collected $25 million for managed care plans in the first nine months of 2012.” The rate per month for each member is about $3,800 or $93 per session. Read More…
Furthermore, these care centers are fairly inexpensive to operate because they are minimally regulated, do not require a license and only require a staff of two people, one of whom can be a volunteer.
Those who receive treatment are supposed to be impaired enough to need at least 120 days of help with everyday tasks. However, the The New York Times article,“Day Centers Sprout Up, Luring Fit Elders and Costing Medicaid,” reports that healthy individuals may be reaping the benefits of a superfluous Medicaid budget.
“The idea that people are bicycling home from managed long-term care is a complete misnomer…The idea that they’re playing Ping-Pong — I guess they could be wheelchair-bound Ping-Pong players, but otherwise it’s fraud and they are not eligible,” said Jason Helgerson, the state’s Medicaid Chief.