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Research Grants - 2006


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Research Grants 2006


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2006 Grant - Sands

2006 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

Laura P. Sands, Ph.D.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

2006 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

Medicaid spending has increased by 63 percent in the past five years. Current efforts to curb Medicaid costs include the use of home- and community-based programs, which provide services at costs lower than those for residential nursing home care. Advocates for people with dementia have asked whether the new programs provide the services these individuals need.

Whether people are eligible for such programs-in-home caregiving, adult day care or respite care (which provides relief for caregivers)-depends on (1) the individual's care needs, (2) the availability of the primary caregiver and (3) the individual's other monthly Medicaid costs. Therefore, two people with the same care needs but different monthly costs may not be eligible for the same Medicaid-covered home or community care.

Laura Sands, Ph.D., and colleagues will analyze Indiana Medicaid enrollment, eligibility, case management and claims data for persons with dementia to determine whether a lack of services and respite care are reflected in overall healthcare utilization. They have hypothesized that people with Alzheimer's disease who do not receive attendant care, adult day care services or respite care will experience (1) faster transitions from the community to nursing homes, (2) greater inpatient, emergency and outpatient service use, and (3) greater overall medical care expenditures.

Evidence from this study is needed to evaluate the new Medicaid-funded programs from the perspective of patient outcomes. Findings from this work may inform the future development of home- and community-based long-term care programs that are responsive to the needs of persons with dementia while making efficient use of Medicaid funds.