The National Association for Home Care and Hospice has expressed its views on a recent House Ways and Means Committee proposed legislation on Medicare post-acute care, including a 1.1% cut in inflation updates that will impact home health care payments.
The association expressed concern over the impact, as it relates to home health care as a means to treat post-acute patients, and urged the committee to reject the cut in inflation updates.
“We have grave concerns about the impact of further cuts to home health care payments on access to care and want to ensure that efforts to bundle payments to post-acute care providers recognize the central role that home health should play…,” NAHC stated in written comments to the committee. “The President’s FY 2014 budget proposal to cut payments another 1.1% over the next ten years, which was incorporated into the draft legislation, would further threaten access to home health care. Moreover, it ignores rebasing scheduled to begin next year, which will likely cut home health rates to the bone. More payment cuts on top of rebasing would devastate access to care.”
The cuts are detrimental to making home health care and post-acute care more generally available, NAHC urges, at a time when more and more people are going to require and rely upon those types of services.
“With the 78 million baby boomer generation reaching their 65th birthday at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 19 years, the need for home health services will only increase,” NAHC writes. “Home health keeps families together and is overwhelmingly what patients prefer. It is far more cost effective for Medicare than institutional options.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker