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Should Michigan 'rebalance' how it spends Medicaid dollars on long-term care?

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
File photo

AARP is out with a proposal this week that calls for targeting state Medicaid dollars to fund at-home care. The senior citizen advocacy group says the state could care for three people at home for the cost of one patient in a nursing home. 

“I don’t think this is an ‘us vs them’ kind of issue," says Robert Kolt,  AARP state president," referring to nursing home operators, "I think this is ‘what are we going to do short-term to take advantage of savings…in the long-term…how do we create an age-friendly Michigan.”    

Pat Anderson is a vice president with the Health Care Association of Michigan, the state’s largest nursing home trade group. She says nursing home operators support letting people receive long-term care at home. 

But Andersonsays there are problems making sure the care the patients get at home is good enough.

“You know if you’re going to put the dollars there make sure what you’re paying for you’re getting," says Anderson.

State health officials are currently reviewing new options for funding long-term care.