Adult Day Health Programs Save State Dollars and Improve Health Care

Adult Day Health Programs (ADH) provide critical health care services to frail elders and disabled adults, including: chronic disease management, ongoing medical services, preventative care, family support, and two meals all for under $60 per day! (Note: the cost is more for private pay.)

Numerous studies confirm that (ADH) programs save money, while providing high quality health care to some of the most vulnerable members of our society:

elders with health aide“Elder Economic Security Initiative,” Gerontology Institute UMass Boston – Found that Massachusetts elders using ADH spend $10,000 less each year on community-based long term care costs as compared to elders with similar needs using other forms of care.

“Projected Economic Impact of Eliminating California ADH,” Lewin Group: Demonstrated that eliminating ADH would significantly increase NOT decrease State costs. The study by the highly respected Lewin Group reported that, “Any savings associated with eliminating the program would be more than offset by cost-shifting to other more expensive health care services and the reductions in State revenue (loss of jobs, tax revenue)”.

Lewin stated that approximately 36% of ADH participants would likely be admitted to nursing homes within one year if ADH programs closed. The study also reported that ADH programs costs less than any other long-term care service including other home and community-based services, assisted living and nursing homes.

Parma/Case Western Reserve Univ. ADH Study – Showed Reduced Hospitalizations & ER Visits with ADH: The study found that hospital readmission and emergency room visit rates, following discharge from acute inpatient stays, were significantly lower for those attending ADH — 6% for ADH participants as compared to 22% for others — due to the health care monitoring and medical services provided by ADH.

“Active problem solving by the staff, such as treating a severe hypoglycemic episode on-site and clarifying conflicting drug prescriptions with the PCP averted trips to the emergency department and/or a readmission. The consistent observation and daily nursing assessments/care in the immediate post discharge period appear to be beneficial to patients and their family members, as well as the health care system.”

The MetLife/Ohio State/National ADH Study 2010: Reported that, “Adult Day Services provide comprehensive skilled health care, are a preferred platform for chronic disease management and are leaders in community-based care for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias.” ADH serves a population with “higher levels of chronic conditions and diseases requiring consistent care and monitoring: hypertension (46%), physical disability (42%), cardiovascular disease (34%), diabetes (31%), mental illness (25%), developmental disability (20%) and (50%) dementia.”

Adult Day Health Produces Considerable Cost Savings to the State

The annual cost to MassHealth for nursing home care averages $71,540 per person compared to $15,000 for ADH including transportation. ADH saves the State $56,540 per person each year compared to nursing home care!

ADH nurses determined that 47% of ADH patients qualify for nursing home care and expect that at least 20%, or 2,300 individuals, would move to nursing homes within a few months if they lost their ADH services, increasing the State’s cost for nursing home care by $130 million annually.

This $130 million in increased costs is only part of the total increased cost without Adult Day Health care. Those ADH clients who remain in the community would need increased in-home services and other forms of medical care. A Home Health Aide costs MassHealth $24.60/hr. or $148/6 hr. day and a Visiting Nurse costs $86.99 per visit, which average less than one hour. At a cost of only $9.00 per hour or $53.93/day – ADH is by far the most affordable option for long-term care.

The aging of the baby boom generation is expected to triple expenditures for long-term care. One quarter of the State’s Medicaid budget is already consumed by long-term care expenditures. Supporting ADH with its proven cost-effectiveness is an essential strategy for constraining the exploding cost of long-term care.

Compare Adult Day Health Costs to Other Massachusetts Services