New York City, NY - The long-term care industry will be challenged by exploding demand for care by a rapidly aging population, just as a massive shift from private to public insurance is driving down reimbursement rates to providers and facilities and the ranks of the uninsured continue to swell. Presenters at the First Annual Marcum Long-Term Care Symposium yesterday predicted a perfect economic storm that will pressure the industry to change the way it delivers care and will force greater collaboration among different segments of the healthcare continuum. The symposium was presented by the National Healthcare Practice group of Marcum LLP, a top national accounting and advisory services firm, at the Mohegan Sun resort in Uncasville, CT.
"The long-term care industry is changing in order to address reductions in federal and state funding while also responding to the demands of the aging baby boomer population. Providers are faced with having to rethink the way they operate on virtually every level," said Matthew S. Bavolack, a Principal in Marcum's New Haven office and leader of the Firm's National Healthcare
"More less is coming," predicted Anirban Basu, Marcum's Chief Economist and CEO of Sage Policy Group. "There will be a limit to the quality of care that can be provided as reimbursement rates continue to plummet. The trend towards outpatient care will continue to limit access to hospital care for the publicly insured and uninsured. Market segmentation among skilled nursing, homecare, acute care and other alternatives will mean greater specialization and more strategic growth among providers and facilities, which will drive costs up further.
"Despite the general growth in population, 14.2 million individuals left employment-based coverage in the 2000-2011 period. At the same time, Medicaid enrollment rose by 19.3 million, and the uninsured population rose by 11.7 million," Mr. Basu said. "Private insurance plans pay hospitals about 30 percent and physicians about 20 percent above Medicare rates. Medicaid payments are also lower than private insurance, and payments by the uninsured are even lower, often $0. In total, about 15 percent of the nonelderly population has moved into insurance arrangements that pay approximately 25 to 40 percent below that of private coverage."
John E. Poirier, President & CEO of the New Hampshire Health Care Association, called for a more flexible long-term care delivery system. "We need to build more elasticity into the system, which will allow it to expand or contract as needed. Providers, insurers and regulators need to all have a place at the table to help steward the industry towards a continuum of patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable and responsive."
Symposium sponsors included Healthcare Management Solutions, Inc.; IGX Global Juniper Networks; M&T Bank; Continuum Rehabilitation LLC; First Niagara; KBE Building Corporation; Murtha Cullina LLP; Mutual of America; Omnicare, Inc.; and M&T Realty Capital Corporation.
Marcum's National Healthcare Practice group provides a full range of advisory, audit, tax, financial, and strategic planning services to the provider community, including long-term care providers, home health agencies, residential care facilities, physician practices, hospitals, federal qualified healthcare centers, and mobile surgical centers. For additional information, visit www.marcumllp.com.
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Marcum LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the United States. Ranked #15 nationally, Marcum LLP offers the resources of 1,300 professionals, including over 160 partners, in 23 offices throughout the U.S., Grand Cayman and China. Headquartered in New York City, the Firm's presence runs deep, with full-service offices strategically located in major business markets. Marcum is a member of the Marcum Group, an organization providing a comprehensive range of professional services spanning accounting and advisory, technology solutions, wealth management, and executive and professional recruiting. The Marcum Group companies include Marcum LLP; Marcum Technology LLC; Marcum Search LLC; Marcum Financial Services LLC; Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP; MarcumBuchanan Associates LLC; and Marcum Cronus Partners LLC. For more information, visit www.marcumllp.com.