Supercommittee Fails to Reach Agreement on Deficit Reduction
Still Results in Reduced Home Health Payments.
Below is an excerpt from NAHC’s press release on the Supercommittee’s inability to reach an agreement on deficit reduction. At HEALTHCAREfirst we strive to bring you the latest industry news fast. HEALTHCAREfirst, Inc., is a provider of leading-edge home health care software and hospice software technologies.
Failure to reach agreement on deficit reduction means no home health co-pays
WASHINGTON D.C. (November 22, 2011) – Val J. Halamandaris, president of The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), issued the following statement concerning release of a statement yesterday by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (supercommittee) that it was unable to reach agreement on a deficit reduction proposal:
“The inability of the supercommittee to reach agreement on a proposal to reduce the budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years means that the battle continues to protect home health care for the three and a half million Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health care annually. The sequester process that is triggered by the supercommittee’s result has some advantages for the home health community in that there are no automatic cuts to Medicaid or to Medicare benefits to beneficiaries. However, that process does provide for 2% provider payment cuts totaling $5.6 billion over the next ten years. This is a reduction in support for home health services. Still, it is certainly less than the $20 to $40 billion in beneficiary co-payments and provider payment cuts that were among the suggested proposals considered by the supercommittee.
The future of Medicare and Medicaid is likely to be decided by the choices made in the 2012 elections. The home health care community must continue to demonstrate that home care is both preferred by patients and much less costly than alternative care in hospitals and nursing homes. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day, we must rely more on innovative and cost effective home care. Americans will be living longer, but many will be doing so with multiple chronic illnesses. Home care can and should be used to reduce the tremendous strain that will otherwise be placed on our health care system.”