Say No to Home Health Reimbursement Cuts

Message from HEALTHCAREfirst President & CEO, Bobby Robertson.

I recently read an article published by the Baltimore Sun, in which the first paragraph states, “Amedisys Inc. and other home healthcare providers would rather the U.S. government make the industry swallow a bitter pill of reimbursement cuts today than spread the pain over the next few years.”

The aforementioned article goes on to state that, “…the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, which includes Amedisys and peers such as Gentiva Health Inc, Almost Family and LHC Group Inc, is lobbying Washington to accelerate the 2012 cuts that are spread out until 2017.” Mr. William Borne, CEO of Amedisys is quoted as saying, “Bring it forward and deal with it now so we can move forward and be more proactive versus reactive,” and, “If we get clarity (on the cuts), it makes those consolidations easy…”.

While Amedisys may want cuts accelerated, the 1200+ agencies that I work with are ABSOLUTELY against acceleration of reimbursement cuts!!! HEALTHCAREfirst will aggressively oppose this position, and in fact, we will push for no further cuts to home care. Home care is the answer to most of the problems CMS is trying to solve! I can introduce CMS to hundreds of you that are making huge differences in your individual communities.

It is very clear to me that Amedisys wants these deep cuts to put further strain on your agencies, so that they can create a scenario where they can acquire your agencies at a discounted price. I’m telling you that your agency stands for all that is good in home health and HEALTHCAREfirst will fight for you in preventing this.

I believe our customers provide a level of care that is very difficult to provide in a company with so many layers of management that the key executives at the top don’t understand the basics of care. People forget how personal the relationship is between a caregiver and the patient. If the caregiver has a direct line of communication with the agency owner, you can bet that when changes need to be made to improve patient care and outcomes, changes will be made.

Now is the time to speak up for your industry. If you would like tell your story of making a difference, improving patient care and reducing costs, I’m inviting you to share it with me. I will carry your message with many others to fight for our great industry.

If any of you will be attending the National Association for Home Care and Hospice convention in Las Vegas, please stop by the HEALTHCAREfirst booth and see me. We will be introducing many new things, such as smartphone access to firstHOMECARE and firstHOSPICE, new Business Intelligence tools and a new (and VERY affordable) Hospital Readmission Reduction technology platform that includes remote patient monitoring.