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MedPAC Data Underscores Need for Targeted Medicare Reforms to Strengthen Program Integrity, Protect Patient Care
Date:3/16/2012

are data indicates that a single payment reform relating to outlier claims that was proposed by the home healthcare community in 2009 achieved over $850 million in savings in 2010 alone – equivalent to nearly $11 billion in savings over the next 10 years.

While the Partnership supports efforts to advance targeted reforms, the community expressed concern that recommendations calling for beneficiary copayments for skilled home healthcare services and rebasing of Medicare home healthcare rates could potentially limit patient access to the clinically advanced, low-cost care that an overwhelming majority of American seniors prefer. Instead of using blunt instruments, such as copayments for low-income seniors or across-the-board reimbursement changes, the Partnership asks lawmakers to instead focus on strengthening Medicare and Medicaid through program integrity and payment reforms. 

The home healthcare community is also concerned that the recommendations related to adding copayments and rebasing do not reflect the true cost of providing care and may not reflect recent cuts to home healthcare payments because of the lag in available cost report data upon which the recommendations are based. The Partnership has engaged Avalere Health to analyze provider margins using more recent data.  This research is being undertaken in an effort to help inform the decision making process and to protect seniors and their providers from further cuts that could severely impact America's home healthcare delivery system.

Skilled home healthcare is the most cost-effective clinical care setting available for seniors today. Nearly 90 percent of American seniors prefer to age and receive treatment in their own home. Nationwide, more than 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries receive skilled home healthcare to treat illnesses related to acute, chronic or rehabilitative needs.

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare was established in 2010 to assis
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SOURCE Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare
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