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WELShift: Lifelong Security

wel_shift_logo-2WELShift: Our New Community Model

Providing Sustainable Lifetime Health and Housing Security for America’s Seniors “By 2030, Social Security, Medicare and the federal portion of Medicaid and interest on the national debt will consume more than the entire federal budget.”    The U.S. Government Accountability Office

Clearly, in aging services, we need to change what we do and how we pay for it. By restructuring our current programs and payment sources, Wesley Enhanced Living (WEL) believes that we can improve the lives of more seniors – particularly the wide swath of middle-income retired seniors who often fall short of necessary financial means.  To achieve this objective, WEL is developing a new service delivery and funding model:  the Senior Health and Housing Initiative for Transformation or WELShift.

Here is how WELShift would work: WELShift offers a comprehensive approach to the financing of service delivery by redistributing Medicare and Medicaid funds.  Residents would continue to pay the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) entrance fee and monthly fee through the sale of their residence and/or savings.  However, Medicaid, currently used as a costly end-of-life program for those requiring skilled nursing services, would be reconfigured to begin paying for CCRC services after a resident’s private funds are depleted.  SHIFT would also collect Medicare payments by becoming a Medicare Advantage program.

Today, CCRCs are generally available to those at the 80th percentile of income or higher.  However, WELShift has the potential to make these high-quality, comprehensive health and housing services accessible to nearly all seniors while saving money.

With its emphasis on preventive care rather than a crisis-oriented approach and its potential to yield a 20 percent savings to Medicaid over a ten-year period*, the time for WELShift is now!  In fact, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 calls for the development of precisely these kinds of programs to improve health and reduce costs.  WEL is engaged with policy makers at the local, state and federal levels and is working on a plan to pilot the WELShift model in communities throughout Pennsylvania.

CLICK HERE to go to www.WELShift.org where you will find more detailed information about this new and innovative healthcare and housing service delivery model that will be more responsive to seniors’ needs. 

*Financing a New Integrated Model/The Senior Healthcare and Housing Initiative for Transformation (WELShift), October 2009, Avalere Health, LLC

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Brittany Eng, 856-595-2478, WELMedia@akcg.com

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