Trade groups representing the home health industry are voicing support for several aspects of the Commission on Long-Term Care’s final report to Congress, which includes a recommendation that would expand access to Medicare coverage for home care.
The vision of the bipartisan, federally-appointed long-term care panel is to create “a more responsive, integrated, person-centered, and fiscally sustainable LTSS delivery system that ensures people can access quality services in settings they choose.”
One recommendation was for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise a current requirement for Medicare beneficiaries to be “homebound” in order to be eligible for Medicare home health services.
“We applaud the Commission for recommending pro-patient solutions that will expand access to clinically-advanced and cost-effective home healthcare,” said Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, in a statement. “By calling for Medicare’s homebound requirement to be revised, the Commission has identified a reform that would enable more seniors to receive high-quality treatment in the most cost-effective setting available—their home.”
Another recommendation promotes the ability for people with functional limitations to receive care and services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their need, supported by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).
“Long-term care should start on the foundation of a high-quality health care system based on home and community-based care. No matter who provides the finances, eligibility, or evaluation of need, our focus should be on doing everything possible to help seniors remain at home,” said Val Halamandaris, president of NAHC, in a statement. “They prefer to be in the home setting, where they can thrive among their family and loved ones.”
The commission, created as part of a fiscal cliff law that repealed the CLASS Act, has been tasked with advising Congress on how best to achieve long-term care reform.
Written by Alyssa Gerace