Proposed cuts to Medicare funding for home healthcare are endangering one of the few solutions the United States has in caring for seniors, writes former Congressional Budget Office director and American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin in a The Hill column this week.
While policy makers have taken a step in the right direction by reversing proposed changes to Medicare Part D, Holtz-Eakin writes, there is still work to be done for home heal care.
“Home healthcare is a potentially invaluable, cost-saving, health-enhancing program that stands on the ObamaCare chopping block,” Holtz-Eakin writes. “Home health represents one of the few places where coordinated care can be provided to seniors — and Medicare needs more, not less, care coordination.”
And with a devastating impact to around 40% of home health agencies that would find themselves out of business as a result of a proposed 14% phased reduction in home health reimbursements under Medicare, he writes, the danger is imminent.
“Looking at the promise of four consecutive years of devastating cuts, those who depend on home health care are growing increasingly wary,” he says. “Nearly half a million jobs are at stake. More than 3.5 million seniors may see changes to the care they depend upon….Policymakers should be wary as well. In their zeal to make Obamacare work, the administration has put into action a truly bad policy that will hurt more than it helps.”
Holtz-Eakin urgest Congress to act on its opportunity to implement change before it’s too late.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker