As Obamacare stories continue to flood the news cycle, including cancelled coverage and higher premiums, the Medicare population is continually overlooked. Senior citizens who rely on clinically advanced home healthcare are finding out that their access to care is in severe jeopardy. Last year, the Obama Administration issued a Medicare rule that imposes sweeping cuts of 14 percent to Medicare home health funding over the next four years.
As of Jan. 1, these cuts are taking effect across the nation, making it a bitter start to 2014 for Medicare beneficiaries receiving home health. A projected 40 percent of home health agencies are predicted to experience net losses by 2017, meaning many of them will be forced to close their doors. Some patients will be out of luck when it comes to receiving skilled home healthcare from an agency in their area.
Obamacare promised increased health coverage for Americans, but such deep cuts to Medicare home healthcare are reducing access and putting a vulnerable population at increased risk for hospital readmissions and higher medical costs.
The administration has the power to reduce this cut and protect home healthcare for our nation’s seniors. I urge the Obama administration to rethink these careless cuts, and to look for options to mitigate the cuts, such as reviewing the means testing thresholds for those receiving Medicare.
Robert H Appleby