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CAPABLE Program Saves Money for Seniors With Disability

Largest differential reduction in expenditures seen for inpatient care, long-term services, supports

hospital patient with walker and nurse

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The five-month Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program is associated with lower Medicaid spending, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Sarah L. Szanton, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether the CAPABLE program saves Medicaid money in a single-arm clinical trial with 204 participants matched with a group of 2,013 individuals dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Participants were aged 65 years and older with reported difficulty in at least one activity of daily living. CAPABLE is a five-month program designed to reduce the health effects of impaired physical function in low-income seniors using an interprofessional team to help attain self-identified functional goals.

The researchers found that the average Medicaid spending was $867 less per month per CAPABLE participant compared with matched comparison counterparts during an average observation period of 17 months. Inpatient care and long-term services and support had the largest differential reduction in expenditures.

"CAPABLE is associated with lower likelihood of inpatient and long-term service use and lower overall Medicaid spending," the authors write. "The magnitude of reduced Medicaid spending could pay for CAPABLE delivery and provide further Medicaid program savings due to averted services use."

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