Advocates Say Ending Adult Day Health Care Will Add to State Costs
Advocates for adult day health care services are raising concerns about Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) proposal to eliminate the program as part of his plan to close the state's multibillion-dollar deficit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The adult day health care program serves about 37,000 Californians each year at 310 licensed centers. The program provides health care, physical therapy and other services to low-income, disabled and elderly adults.
California spends about $176 million annually on the adult day health care program, which includes a cost of about $36 daily per client.
Advocates Weigh In
According to advocates, ending adult day health care services could lead many beneficiaries to seek care from nursing home facilities, emergency departments or mental health institutions, which could cost up to five times as much as keeping an individual in the program.
Last year, a Lewin Group study found that eliminating the adult day health care program would increase state spending by about $51 million annually because of higher health care costs and other factors.
Advocates note that the state already has lost two lawsuits related to its previous attempts to eliminate adult day health care services. They added that Brown's proposal might face similar legal challenges if it receives legislative approval.
Norman Williams, spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services, called adult day health care a "valuable program" and said officials faced a "difficult decision" when targeting it for elimination.
Williams noted that adult day health care is an optionalÂ service that is not mandated under federal Medicaid regulations. He added that the Brown administration hopes current adult day health care beneficiaries will find alternativesÂ to the program (Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.