Good Care Management Helps With Cutting Care Costs
Families often wonder (and worry about) what it will cost to provide good care for aging parents. Care costs can vary widely, but there are many ways to manage costs and ensure you get the most value for the money spent. Our care managers work with families to access quality services and programs to help, manage care and reduce the actual and opportunity costs of caregiving.
How does a care manager help manage/reduce financial costs of care?
Identifying Cost-Effective Options, Creating a Care Plan, Accessing Benefits
- Creating a plan of care that fits the client’s budget, identifying options for in-home or facility-based care and helping families understand all the costs involved. With extensive experience and motivated solely to help the client/family (i.e. not paid by facilities/no referral fees), our care managers can access a wider array of options, create unique solutions and negotiate on behalf of the client.
- Helping the client/family access public programs and benefits and navigating the process for the best likelihood of eligibility. Identifying costs that can be cut (such as medical premiums or drug costs that can be reduced by switching plans) and available help that a client may be missing out on currently.
- Navigating Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and other related programs to ensure they’re being used in the most efficient way.
Oversight and Management
- Reducing the risk of fraud, scams and unnecessary spending (such as clients being convinced to join inappropriate Medicare or other programs which actually cost them more).
- Estimating care costs and anticipating pitfalls (such as rules on Medicare’s observation status v. hospital admission which could result in thousands of dollars of uncovered care costs).
- Proactively managing the situation to avoid costly crises.
- Ensuring care providers are working together and providing the care the client desires; eliminating unnecessary expenses/duplicate services; overseeing care to ensure the client is getting good quality/value.
How can a care manager reduce the opportunity costs and strain on caregiving families?
The Staggering Costs of Caregiving
The total estimated aggregate lost wages, pension, and Social Security benefits of people age 50+ caregiving for their parents is approximately $3 trillion (MetLife). The National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare found that a stunning 47% of working caregivers reported having used up all or most of their savings. For those who continue to work, many have to take time off, give up promotion opportunities and defer savings to parental care.
Adult children 50+ who are working caregivers are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who do not provide care to their parents (MetLife 2011, Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers). This translates to increases in their own health/care costs.
Caregiving is expensive, literally and physically/emotionally. Families provide the majority of care to elders in the U.S., but with a little help and some supportive services the costs can be greatly reduced. We help by:
- Arranging services to assist and helping caregivers set up respite care
- Mediating between family members and setting up care conferences to reduce strain and improve coordination
- Helping guide discussions to ensure appropriate care is provided in line with the person’s wishes (and ensuring the proper documentation)
- Advising families on options to reduce time on research (and wasted time pursuing options that aren’t feasible)
- Navigating insurance and the medical system to reduce stress, save time and ensure good care/value
- Educating and training on the care recipient’s disease process/care needs
- Identifying key areas where support can most help
- Organizing records and coordinating via an online system for easy communication
- Counseling and acting as a sounding board for caregivers
- Managing crises and providing on-call support, for both local caregivers and those at a distance
These are just a few of the ways our team can help your family with cutting care costs. Our care managers and in-home care team are here to make sure your family gets the optimal care without spending more than is necessary (literally, or emotionally). Contact us for a consultation today.