Home health care escaped the fiscal cliff unscathed with President Obama’s signing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, prompting a sigh of relief among many fearing across-the-board spending cuts.
Upon Obama’s passing of the bill, President of the National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Val J. Halamandaris expressed his praise for Washington’s efforts to reach a resolution.
“The efforts of the Members of Congress and their staffs, along with those in the Administration, who worked over the holidays to arrive at the resolution should be thanked and commended for their efforts,” Halamandaris said.
Though the fiscal cliff has been averted, NAHC’s President acknowledges that the problem of government spending and national debt will continue to be a subject of debate for years to come.
“The home health care industry believes now, as we have believed in the past that we can play a vital role in support of responsible and sustainable government spending,” Halamandaris said. “Home health care not only keeps families together and is overwhelmingly what patients prefer, it is far more cost effective for Medicare than institutional options.”
Citing that the Medicare home health benefit has already been cut by $77 billion over the next decade, Halamandaris urges that any further cuts to the program would be “devastating” for home care providers to continue with the high value services they give.
The law, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act and establishes a 15-member Long Term Care Commission, is the fruit of months of negotiations between Congress and President Obama to reach a deal by the new year.
“I am confident that the Congress recognizes the value of home health care and will encourage its use as we all mov forward to solve the economic challenges our nation faces,” Halamandaris concluded.
Written by Jason Oliva