The Partnership for Quality Home Health Care (PQHHC) says it agrees with the the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) recommendation to target waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare program.
The home healthcare community supports efforts to target abusive billing behaviors, including recommendations to “conduct medical review activities in counties that have aberrant home health utilization… [and] implement the new authorities to suspend payment and the enrollment of new providers if they indicate significant fraud.”
The MedPAC study showed that abusive billing practices are occurring in isolated parts of the country. As a result, the home healthcare community believes policy makers should undertake action to address targeted problems with targeted solutions.
“We are pleased with the Commission’s recommendation and their recognition that fraud and abuse is a targeted problem requiring targeted reforms,”
“The home healthcare community has developed a set of detailed proposals to strengthen program integrity while protecting seniors, cost-efficient providers, and taxpayers alike,” said Billy Tauzin, former House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman and senior counsel to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “We look forward to working with MedPAC, Congress and the Administration to see these recommendations through, so that lasting change benefiting seniors and taxpayers can be achieved.”
The MedPAC report found that home health agencies saw a profit of 19.4% in 2010, and recommended Medicare rebase payment rates to home health care companies.
PQHHC said it such a move could potentially limit patient access to the clinically advanced, low-cost care that an overwhelming majority of American seniors prefer.
“Instead of using blunt instruments, such as copayments for low-income seniors or across-the-board reimbursement changes, the Partnership asks lawmakers to instead focus on strengthening Medicare and Medicaid through program integrity and payment reforms,” said the group.
PQHHC represents more than 1,500 community- and hospital-based home health agencies nationwide.
Written by John Yedinak