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Long Term Care - How Does Technology Help?

LongIsland.com

Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance? Plan, research and be vigilant. How does technology help? By Darren M. Klein How do you deal with the daunting task of looking into a subject, ...

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Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance?

Plan, research and be vigilant.

How does technology help?

By Darren M. Klein

How do you deal with the daunting task of looking into a subject, like Long Term Care, that you know you may need one day, but would prefer to avoid having to think about? Another reason may be that the task seems too big. Big projects often feel like they will never get done. That may be true especially if they are never started. You can choose to

bury your head in the sand

or use the secret weapon -- baby steps.

An outline is always a good place to start. Since you already have a checklist (from the last article) lets continue taking our steps together.

Let's begin with research.

Research may have different connotations to different people. For me, it always conjures up my childhood when I would ask my father a question and he would say "look it up." Mind you, these were pre-Internet times. So, looking it up actually meant cracking open a book or two, reading, taking notes and not being distracted by pop-up ads, spam or some tangent banner advertising you see advertised with a product that allows you to further develop your expertise in delay tactics (a/k/a procrastination). Looking it up continues to be a great way for me to learn about subjects of interest. With the Internet and search engines at your fingertips you have no excuses!

Long Term Care (LTC) facilities are regulated. As such, they must disclose information about their operation and they must adhere to certain minimum regulations or be subject to fines, penalties or both. This information is then made available to the public by regulators allowing you to compare facilities and make an appropriate selection.

How does technology help?

Where may I find information about LTC facilities and whether or not they are certified by the State of New York to provide special services? Good question. There are several resources.

Let's start with finding a facility in New York State:

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/hlthcare/hlthcare.htm

Now, let's look at nursing homes:

www.medicare.gov/nhcompare/home.asp

Adult Care facilities:

www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/acf/map.htm

Senior Housing:

www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/acf/map.htm

I am sure you noticed that there are a few categories under Long Term Care. Are there more? You bet. In fact, there are several. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its subsidiary agency the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), maintains a

list and
defines each category

.

Now, how do you know its performance record? After you locate the facility that you are interested in you may use the link below to see information such as: the number of Certified Beds, Facility Characteristics, Survey Summary Report, Complaint Summary Report and an Enforcement Summary Report.

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/hlthcare/hlthcare.htm

In the next article we will discuss the different levels of care available at LTC facilities and how to choose the appropriate one.

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Links used in this article:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/80800.html

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/hlthcare/hlthcare.htm

www.medicare.gov./nhcompare/home.asp

www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/acf/map.htm

www.seniorhousing.state.ny.us

http://www.medicare.gov/LongTermCare/Static/TypesOverview.asp

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/hlthcare/hlthcare.htm

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What issues would you like to see addressed in future columns? Please send me your ideas.