The number of home health job losses escalated in February as the industry posted the largest monthly decline within the healthcare sector, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
February saw 3,800 home health jobs lost during the month, the BLS data notes—a slight increase from December 2013, when the sector lost 3,700 jobs as patients and providers braced for impending cuts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), suggests the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.
The Partnership suspect the February job decline is a direct result of the 14% Medicare rebasing cut implemented by CMS on January 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
“Despite claims that the Affordable Care Act will not result in job loss for American workers, this month’s jobs report suggest that the Medicare cut to home health is doing just that,” stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.
Obamacare’s “deep Medicare home health cut” is directly impacting the program’s most vulnerable patient population and the health care professionals on whom seniors depend, Berger added.
As part of the rebasing cuts, home health funding will be reduced by 3.5% each year for the next four years. It is believed that by 2017, approximately 40% of home health agencies nationwide will be operating at a loss, according to statements made by the Obama Administration.
“This is a dangerous trajectory for our senior population and economy,” stated Berger. “As a result, we are grateful for the attention that leaders in Washington are giving to this cut’s impact on patient access and jobs, and we thank them for considering the provision of much-needed relief to the Medicare program’s frailest patients and home healthcare professionals across our nation.”
Written by Jason Oliva