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Thanks Wendy, that is interesting, at least for those of us with parents at that age.

I wonder how they distinguish between "custodial care" and skilled care . . . needed simply to preserve a patient's current functioning or prevent further decline. That seems to be a pretty grey distinction, and also wondering about how this would affect the long term viability of medicare.

My interest comes out of my experience with my mother. She was not able to manage her physical therapy after a fall last spring that broke her hip. When she was not able to make any progress, she was told that she would be "self-pay." She was only self pay for a day and a half before they readmitted her to the hospital where she stayed until she died some 45 days later.

I thought it odd that Medicare and Blue Cross paid 100% of her hospital costs for a month and half, but she was self pay at the nursing home. The hospital was probably a magnitude of 20x the cost of the nursing home. She didn't have enough money to self pay for 45 days at the nursing home but had good insurance that covered her stay at the hospital. An odd world.

Eldercare and the costs are staggering.
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