By Kristin Rowan, Editor

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice joined other advocacy groups this month on Capitol Hill to fight against the looming pay cuts from CMS. Some members of Congress joined the fight for “common sense policies” to expand access to care in the home for Americans.

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE-3), who spoke at the event, decried moves against home health, saying “there are cuts looming that are not based on reality” and “we want to make sure reimbursement policies are reflective of the actual realities.” Smith is also the representative who introduce the “Homecare for Seniors Act,” H.R. 1795, which would allow the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to be used for home care.

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) has a personal connection to home care and spoke about how her mother cared for her father through a series of strokes he suffered. She expressed strong opinions about payment reductions that could see home health lose as much as $20 billion dollars over the next ten years. Sewell called the idea “frightening” and said, “I am a big fan of making sure that my constituents have access to quality, affordable health care.”

The Medicare program has admitted that home health is not just a bringing of great care and not just a more cost effective way to provide care, but is a service that provides dynamic value. Care in the home has decreased overall costs by $3.2 billion dollars just in the small segment of value-based payment model test cases. Patients who receive care in the home are re-admitted to the hospital 37% less frequently than those who do not and are 43% less likely to die than patients who do not receive care at home. Still, CMS is looking at additional pay cuts which bring the total payment reduction down 13.72% since 2019. The costs of everything else have increased in that time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average cost of living has increased 22% since 2019. NAHC President Bill Dombi said, “Where we’re headed in 2024 is that half of all home health agencies will be operating in the red with the cuts facing them in the Medicare program. It’s not a recipe for continued access to care.”

Dombi, along with many others, is predicting that 50 percent of agencies will be operating in the red after the next round of payment reductions and that without a reversal of these pay cuts we could see the end of care at home altogether with a collapse of the home health payment system.

The advocacy event on Capitol Hill helped raise awareness of the plight of care at home among some policymakers, but more help and advocacy is needed. Please, take a few minutes to click the link below and tell your members of Congress to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023.

# # #

Kristin Rowan

Kristin Rowan has been working at Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report since 2008. She has a master’s degree in business administration and marketing and runs Girard Marketing Group, a multi-faceted boutique marketing firm specializing in event planning, sales, and marketing strategy. She has recently taken on the role of Editor of The Rowan Report and will add her voice to current Home Care topics as well as marketing tips for home care agencies. Connect with Kristin directly or

©2024 by The Rowan Report, Peoria, AZ. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report. One copy may be printed for personal use: further reproduction by permission only.

  • Please GO HERE to tell your members of Congress to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023