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MEDICARE: Don’t cut home health care reimbursements

Letter by Damien C. Weston, Tacoma on July 19, 2012 at 10:28 am with 11 Comments »
July 19, 2012 10:28 am

Congress will return to Capitol Hill after Election Day to focus on controlling costs for programs such as Medicare. I believe legislators must support cost-effective home health care, which can control Medicare costs by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and helping senior citizens to live independently.

Our state already has almost a million Medicare recipients and our 65-and-over population will increase 136 percent between 2000 and 2030. Yet Congress could impose additional Medicare reimbursement cuts on home health services, limiting access to care and the opportunity for greater efficiency.

The home health community believes it can also help address the nation’s fiscal challenges by proposing legislation to strengthen Medicare’s integrity and reduce costly fraud and abuse. As a home health professional, I hope Sen. Maria Cantwell will support reimbursements for Medicare home health services and will vote to strengthen Medicare integrity.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Frankenchrist says:

    Sorry, but the Republicans must gut Medicare so they can give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

  2. cclngthr says:

    Home health costs are not the entire issue. What I find is, the issues of services that is paid for, but not medically necessary, and durable medical equipment not being necessary, and the high cost of that equipment is what we should be controlling.

    An electric wheelchair does not need to cost $8650. Only allow $1500 for that same power chair.

  3. alindasue says:

    cclngthr,

    For most, the $1500 power chair is sufficient. However, if a person truly needs a chair with specialized equipment (aids for communication, life support, etc) that bring the cost up to $8000, do we deny the person that chair?

    Imagine, for instance, if Steven Hawkins had to get by with only that $1500 chair… One of the greatest minds in science would be lost to us do to lack of ability to communicate and function.

  4. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    My Hoveround chair retails for $8650, which is the cost of current wheelchairs, and they are designed with the client in need. I feel the high cost of durable medical equipment is what needs to be brought down to reasonable levels. A pair of crutches should not cost over $100. They should cost about $15.00 each.

    However, aids such as communication devises are legally are not a medical neecessity devise, which medicare already does not cover in most cases because the devises available offer multiple uses; such as a laptop computer being used for AAC. If a AAC devise is necessary, it has to be a dedicated devise that cannot be attached to other devises to operate a second devise.

  5. averageJose says:

    Sorry, Obama is gutting medicare. Obamacare cuts $500billion from medicare. Not one republican voted in the affirmative for it… regardless that Obama said it was “passed witht bi-partisan support”.

  6. LeePHill says:

    “Obamacare cuts $500 billion from medicare.”

    As usual…..the lies continue.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/16/mitt-romney/500-billion-medicare-obamacare-romney-says/

    When will they stop lying about Obama and his quotes and policies?

  7. LeePHill is an obviously strong supporter of the Affordable Healthcare Act but is apparently unwilling to recognize some of the weaknesses of the revenue stream designed to provide this program’s funding.

    The Congressional Budget Office forecast medicare spending to nearly double from $449 billion to nearly $1 trillion by 2019. The ACA merely denies $500 billion in projected medicare growth, calls it a savings and applies it to new ACA programs as if it were real rather than anticipated revenue. Was it a lie? No, but it certainly does not represent fiscal reality.

    So to say that medicare funding was not cut by $500 billion to partially fund the ACA is also to say that medicare costs will remain static for the next ten years. The CBO does not concur with this analysis. LeePHill apparently buys into the idea without reservation.

  8. Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act was, like Bush’s Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, doomed to failure BECAUSE it is a huge gift to private health care industries.

    Single-payer Universal coverage is the only solution that will actually work.

  9. averageJose says:

    He’s a loyal blind follower oldoc. Thanks for the succint rebuttal of his non-rebuttal. You beat me to it.

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