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Finally!! Wall Street Journal on Long Term Care!

by Louis on June 18, 2014

Should we really get excited that a Wall Street Journal columnist is finally noticing the long term care situation? David Blumenthal’s blog:

It’s Time to Face the Long-Term-Care Dilemma

is a pretty good effort. I would say it is long past time, but this is a start. He describes the size of the problem, the fact that medicare does not cover long term care, the shrinking number of caregivers, and speaks briefly about out of pocket expenses. Two more points I hope to see covered:

What is the total dollar volume of the out of pocket/in home long term care services market? This information is critical to wall street getting really interested. How big is the market already? How much will it grow as the population increases AND services are improved or expanded? There is no doubt it will increase as the number of customers grow. Can we get each customer to spend more as well?  How much will that be? (disclosure: I don’t know the answer. I am not a financial writer..but I do know it is an important question AND I want to know the answer. If you too are interested or have an answer comment below or reach me off line, PLEASE!)

Is there sufficient capacity in the out of pocket/ in home services marketplace? Capacity is critical to solving the problem.  The article says consumers should be prepared to spend, but is there enough worth paying for? Is it good enough? Can it be better? Otherwise we will get long lines, inflation, poor service, frustrated consumers, bad reputations and unfortunate consumer protective regulations. Remember the holiday season everyone was ready to use their FREE AOL disk to get online but there wasn’t enough capacity? Frustrations were so high it seemed the internet would be abandoned just as it emerged.

Blumenthal notes the not news (cause we have known for sooo long) that the numbers who need these services are growing and the historical solution- family caregiver numbers – are shrinking. Is there sufficient investment in infrastructure, human capital deployment mechanisms (ie. employers) and technology to meet the coming demand? It is great to get consumers ready to buy but we need smart investments as well.

This is a start so I am not complaining.. well maybe I am. Do I sound like a broken record? (younger readers: ask around what “broken record” means). Many of us have been saying these things for years. It is high time the issues are recognized. I appreciate it. More study must accompany the reporting. I am excited it is beginning.


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