TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Home care threatened

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Letter to the Editor
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Hearing about budget cuts in Washington is nothing new. However, learning about potential cuts with little basis in the law that affect seniors' lives and health is shocking.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently proposed a policy change that would reduce reimbursement for skilled home health services significantly. And while this “rebasing” would lead to financial ruin for care providers in many states, including Pennsylvania, it appears to lack any real basis in the law. Although required to base reimbursement charges on detailed analyses of the costs of providing care and potential impacts, CMS has failed to provide any real rationale for the cuts.

What might seem like a minor reimbursement reduction in Washington is huge in terms of its real-life impact here in Pennsylvania. If the proposed 14-percent cut goes into effect, it is projected that 61 percent of Pennsylvania home health agencies will see operating margins at or below 0 percent in 2017, significantly reducing access to this critical care.

Approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive vital home health services for managing chronic disease, preventing costly hospital readmissions and providing rehabilitative therapies. With approximately 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, our health-care system must be ready to improve and expand upon the cost-effective services we offer seniors, not make it impossible for this care to be available.

Join me in contacting our elected officials in Washington and urging them to intervene with CMS regarding the proposed rule for home health.

Kurt Baumgartel

The writer is chief operating officer of Celtic Healthcare (celtichealthcare.com) in Mars.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. An encyclical of politics I
  2. An encyclical of politics II
  3. Fast-track trade ruining the U.S.
  4. ATI should appreciate workers
  5. Drilling’s benefits
  6. Ban police radar
  7. Few buy Confederate flags
  8. True Confederate flag meaning
  9. Bringing military dogs home
  10. A liberal worth heeding
  11. History lesson