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Medicare House Care Protection Is Not a Quick-Time period Profit: Witness to Senate

The Actuality

“Sadly, Stein mentioned, “the middle hears repeatedly from individuals who meet Medicare protection standards however are unable to entry Medicare-covered dwelling care or the suitable quantity of care.”

Having access to dwelling well being aides to offer assist with actions similar to bathing may be particularly difficult, regardless that federal regulation authorizes Medicare protection of 28 to 35 hours per week of dwelling well being aide providers.

Stein mentioned Medicare creates disincentives for long-term dwelling care advantages use by:

  • Paying extra for the primary 30 days of providers than for providers after 30 days.
  • Paying extra for dwelling well being providers for sufferers who come from a hospital or establishment.
  • Utilizing a top quality measurement system that rewards solely enchancment in circumstances, not success at efforts to take care of folks’s well being or gradual deterioration.

“We want auditing that appears at underutilization, not simply so-called ‘over-utilization,’” Stein added.

The House Care Provide

David Grabowski, a Harvard Medical Faculty professor, testified that he believes that Medicare gives beneficiant funds for dwelling well being care in many of the nation, and that this system ought to purpose any additional funds meant to extend the provision of dwelling care providers at rural areas, the place providers could also be tougher to search out.

Different witnesses seen that Medicare could give an inaccurate image of sufferers’ entry to dwelling care providers by displaying that the sufferers have enough entry in the event that they dwell within the service space of no less than two dwelling care businesses, even when the businesses are overloaded and usually are not accepting new sufferers.

William Dombi, president of the Nationwide Affiliation of House Care & Hospice, mentioned in testimony on the listening to and in written testimony that developments within the quantity of dwelling care coated by Medicare present that the house well being providers profit is in hassle.

In 2021, Medicare paid for a mean of 25.4 visits for simply 3 million enrollees, down from a mean of 74 visits for 3.6 million enrollees in 1997, Dombi mentioned.

Medicare spending on dwelling well being providers elevated to only $16.9 billion in 2021, from $16.7 billion in 1997, as Medicare spending on expert nursing amenities elevated to $27.2 billion, from $11.2 billion.

“The proof is mounting that sufferers in want of dwelling well being providers are coping with main obstacles to entry to care at this time, a few of which can attain a degree the place they’re insurmountable,” Dombi mentioned.

Judith Stein. Credit score: Senate Finance



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