The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been putting forth a number of proposals in recent months and years to help cut expenses at the federal level. Some of these proposals involve in home health care support.
Even though it has been promoted as being the number one job creator for the next several years, home health care reimbursement rates have been cut steadily since 2014. As part of an effort to help pay for the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 (more commonly referred to as Obamacare), Medicaid reimbursement rates for home care support were cut 14 percent, spread out between 2014 and 2017.
Now, though, it appears as though CMS is looking for more ways to trim expenses and is floating the idea of doing it at the expense of home care support.
In the Dothan Eagle op-ed piece, Proposal could jeopardize access to home health care, submitted by Cheryl Kelly of Ozark, it was noted:
“Known as the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), the proposal would dramatically change the way Medicare pays for home health. As a result, many providers — especially rural ones — would be left struggling to adopt to new regulations due to increased administrative burdens and further cuts.
Furthermore, CMS neglected to consult the home health community.
It doesn’t have to be this way. CMS can and should take the time to work with stakeholders to create policies that ensure Medicare home health beneficiaries can continue to access care. I’m calling on our representatives in Congress to urge CMS to withdraw the proposed HHGM and work with the home health community to fix the proposed payment model.”
There could be a number of reasons CMS is determined to continue trimming expenses as it relates to in home care support. One could be that the cuts already put through have not led to a tremendous number of men and women being unable to access the care and support they require. However, many small, independent agencies have been struggling while larger home care corporations have been combining resources and turning to technology as a way to help trim expenses.
The people who suffer most from these types of cuts are often those living in more rural environments where access to home care is already stretched to its limit. In metropolitan regions with greater population concentrations, more agencies equals more access to care. If CMS’ proposals become reality, it will likely increase the pressure that is already on the home care industry and the men and women living in less populated areas of the country could be the first to feel the effects.
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