NAHC statement on CMS final ruling on 2012 rate
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON D.C. (November 3, 2011) Val J. Halamandaris, president of The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), issued the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final ruling on 2012 rates for home health care.
We appreciate CMSs willingness to work with us in phasing in the cuts to home health care, however to the 11,700 home care agencies a decrease of 2.31 percent is still a hard pill to swallow. The fact remains that the majority of home health providers will be operating in the red with this rate cut.
NAHC recommended that Medicare phase-in a proposed 5.06% rate reduction over two years to allow providers time to address recent cost increases related to new regulatory requirements. The final rule does so with cuts of 3.79% in 2012 and 1.31% in 2013. The net rate cut in 2012 is 2.31 percent compared to the proposed 3.56 percent.
Approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries annually receive home healthcare to recuperate from serious injury or illness at home at a significant cost savings when compared to other care settings.
Every piece of research weve seen shows that seniors wish to remain in their own homes, live independently and have their health protected. If home health agencies go out of business because of continued rate cuts, more people will be forced into nursing homes or hospitals at a much higher cost to Medicare. Taking a targeted approach to control rates is more sensible than across the board rate cuts and will ultimately achieve greater savings for Medicare.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are aged, disabled and ill. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.