Legislation has been introduced to the House of Representatives that would help to preserve access to home health care support services for many of the elderly and disabled residents. Even after the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) cut reimbursement rates to home health care support services by 14 percent to help pay for the Affordable Care act of 2010, there are more reimbursement cuts expected coming in 2020.
According to some, these cuts are based on speculation and assumptions, especially how some home care agencies will establish a new payment system, but ultimately it could reduce access to quality care for elderly and disabled adults who need it most.
This legislation, introduced as part of a bipartisan effort, was introduced by US Rep Terri Sewell (D- Alabama), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Vern Buchanan (R-Florida), Ralph Abraham (R-Louisiana), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tennessee), Garrett Graves (R-Louisiana), Ann McLane Kuster (D-New Hampshire), John Larson (D-Connecticut), Kenny Marchant (R-Texas), Jimmy Panetta (D-California), and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).
The Alabama Political Reporter noted in its news blog, Sewell introduces bipartisan bill to expand access to home health care, written by Jessica Ballard:
“[U.S. Rep Terri] Sewell said she has experienced firsthand the benefits of home health care. After her father endured a series of strokes, she said her mother needed help caring for him, and he was lucky to receive care from highly skilled and caring health care professionals from home. She said home health care is valuable for seniors, people with disabilities and people with limited mobility.
“Home health is a critical part of the equation of how we can best provide care to those who need it, particularly seniors in rural areas,” said Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, who is also a medical doctor. “This bill will ensure that there are no interruptions in the delivery of home health so that seniors can access the care they prefer. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Sewell and other members of this bipartisan coalition to pass this bill for the good of our seniors.””
Keith Myers, chairman of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare said his organization fully supports this legislation. If this legislation does not pass, many citizens across the country could find themselves struggling to have access to quality care support at home. The bill is aimed at preventing disruptions in care by blocking an estimated $1 billion in cuts by CMS in the fiscal year 2020.