Changes to the home health prospective payment system proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be detrimental to home healthcare providers, according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).
The proposed payment cuts, which would slash the base payment rate for home health services by around 5% next year, would result in negative Medicare financial margins for more than half of U.S. home health agencies, according to analysis by The Moran company for the NAHC, a nonprofit organization that advocates for employees in the home healthcare industry. Hardest hit would be rural and hospital-based home health providers, the group says.
"Federal regulators have made assumptions regarding our patient population and patient acuity that do not accurately reflect the reality of home health care in America," Andrea Devoti, who chairs the NAHC board, said in a statement. "As a result, their proposed payment adjustment is dangerously speculative and risks denying Medicare beneficiaries the care they need. The Moran Company validation of the analysis underscores our concerns that large payment adjustments will financially cripple providers across the country, therefore creating serious access challenges to vulnerable seniors and threatening needed healthcare jobs—particularly in rural and underserved areas.”
Home healthcare is an opportunity for medical electronics designers, but I worry that if these changes go through, it could hinder innovation. What do you think, might this have a chilling effect on development of devices with home healthcare applications? Share your thoughts in the comments below.