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The Gerontologist 46:483-494 (2006)
© 2006 The Gerontological Society of America

The Relative Benefits and Cost of Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services in Florida

Glenn Mitchell, II, PhD1, Jennifer R. Salmon, PhD2, Larry Polivka, PhD2 and Horacio Soberon-Ferrer, PhD3

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Glenn Mitchell, PhD, State Data Center on Aging, School of Aging Studies, Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging, University of South Florida, USF#30437, Tampa, FL 33620. E-mail: gmitchel{at}

Purpose: We compared inpatient days, nursing home days, and total Medicaid claims for five Medicaid-funded home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs for in-home and assisted living services in Florida. Design and Methods: We studied a single cohort of Medicaid enrollees in Florida aged 60 and older, who were enrolled for the first time in any of five Medicaid HCBS programs and who had at least one assessment (N = 6,014). In this 3-year longitudinal study, we used a two-stage probit regression and ordinary least squares regression in order to test the independent effects of explanatory variables on outcomes and cost. Results: After controlling for differences in frailty, chronic health conditions, presence of dementia, and available caregiver, we found that Medicaid HCBS programs had a differential effect on hospital and nursing home utilization and cost. Implications: Medicaid HCBS programs serve very impaired populations at a wide range of costs to Medicaid. The rates for Medicaid HCBS programs could be adjusted upward or downward in order to better reflect the level of need in each program. At the same time, providers could use titration techniques based on the relative costs of these needs in order to budget for the costs of meeting the needs of particular elders.

Key Words: Home- and community-based services • Long-term care • Managed care • Outcomes • Public policy

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Copyright © 2006 by The Gerontological Society of America.