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8 September 2022

Rebalancing long-term care in the US: the role of Medicaid managed long term care services and support

Howard Degenholtz , University of Pittsburgh , United States

Abstract

From 2018 to 2020, Pennsylvania conducted a phased implementation of a mandatory Medicaid managed long-term services and supports program called Community HealthChoices (CHC). The new program covers people receiving Medicaid financed long-term services and supports (LTSS) in nursing homes and home and community-based settings. The three participating MCOs are incentivized to serve people in the community. This study took advantage of the phased implementation to generate causal estimates of the effect of the new program on both the extensive margin (the proportion of people receiving HCBS vs. nursing homes), and the intensive margin (the type and amount of HCBS services). Medicaid claims data for the years 2013 to2020 were analyzed to examine pre-program trends and program effects.

There was a long-term pre-program trend away from nursing homes. The implementation of managed care did not appear to accelerate this trend, however, analysis of data from 2020 is complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, MLTSS did appear to control to growth in hours of personal care per person both in the aggregate and longitudinally within the same individuals over time. There were decreases in the use of adult day services and home delivered meals. However, the decline in home delivered meals was more than offset by an increase in uptake of the supplementary nutritional assistance program (SNAP).

This is the first causal analysis of the effects of managed care on use of long-term services and supports. The findings have implications for other states that are considering implementing similar policies.


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