Comparison of resource utilization for medicaid dementia patients using nursing homes versus home and community based waivers for long-term care

Laura P. Sands, Huiping Xu, Michael Weiner, Marc B. Rosenman, Bruce A. Craig, Joseph Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Medicaid waiver home and community-based long-term care services (HCBS) may provide a partial solution to the escalating costs of long-term care. Persons with dementia can have complex caregiving needs; it is unknown whether their expenditures and resource utilization differ between community-based versus institutional settings. OBJECTIVE:: To compare expenditures and resource utilization for Medicaid recipients with dementia who received long-term care through a nursing home versus HCBS waivers. DESIGN:: Twelve-month cohort study. SETTING:: Indiana Medicaid administrative data from 2001 through 2004. PARTICIPANTS:: Medicaid recipients with dementia who lived in the community 6 months before receiving long-term care through nursing homes (N ≤ 1534) or HCBS waivers (N ≤ 174). MEASUREMENTS:: Monthly inpatient and emergency department rates and total expenditures adjusted for prior use, demographics, insurance status, and comorbidities. RESULTS:: Adjusted rates of inpatient use were stable for nursing home patients (0.06) but significantly increased over 12 months for HCBS recipients (0.07ĝ€"0.12; P ≤ 0.048). Adjusted total expenditures increased over 12 months from $1419 to $2002 for HCBS recipients (P < 0.001), but remained stable for those in nursing homes ($3413ĝ€"$3336). Long-term care expenditures were on average $1688 per month higher for those in nursing homes. CONCLUSIONS:: The escalation in inpatient use for HCBS waiver recipients suggests that future development of HCBS programs should consider the unique needs of persons with dementia so as to optimize their health outcomes. Despite increasing inpatient use among HCBS recipients, their overall expenditures remained significantly lower than those of nursing home patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-453
Number of pages5
JournalMedical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008



  • Dementia
  • Long-term care
  • Medicaid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

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