Home health industry advocates in Oregon are pushing for assistance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services following an announcement from the agency that it would reduce home health reimbursements in 2014.
Rural home health providers in the state are particularly hard-hit, according to a recent Oregonian report, leading the state’s Congressional delegation to request a reimbursement rate adjustment from CMS for rural home health providers.
“We hope you would agree that it is imprecise to use such inconsistent data while establishing rates for providers as far as 538 miles away from one another, regardless of whether it amounts to higher or lower payments,” the delegation writes. “In fact, the drive from Enterprise to Coos Bay is longer than the drive from Baltimore, Maryland to Cincinnati, Ohio.”
Additional efforts are under way toward reversing the cuts to agencies that rely most on CMS reimbursements, the Oregonian writes. A report from the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare indicated home health providers are among the states most impacted by the change in rules with more projected losses anticipated.
Of the 21,161 Medicare beneficiaries receiving home health care in Oregon, nearly half are living in rural areas, the report notes.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker