Chairman Billy Tauzin Discusses the Value of Home Health on Senior Voice America Radio

On June 19, Congressman Billy Tauzin spoke with Senior Voice America on the importance of skilled home healthcare and the value it provides to the senior community.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Interview Highlights

  • Home health has been on the budget-cutting table for several years. The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) is working to protect funding for skilled home healthcare and  improve quality and access for the patients we serve.
  •  PQHH has brought legislation to Congress to clean up the isolated fraud in the home health community so that cost-effective and patient preferred home healthcare can continue to be an option for America’s seniors.
  •  The Obama Administration and states are recognizing that better care can be provided in the home through programs such as the Community First Choice Option.
  • The VA’s Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) program has reduced overall costs by 24% and its patients are receiving quality care.
  • Home health is cost-effective AND saves taxpayers money because of the out of pocket expenses patients inherently cover, such as shelter, food and utilities.
  • 10% of new jobs created in May were in the home health space.
  • More and more seniors will become chronically ill with diseases that need to be managed and home healthcare will provide huge employment opportunities for new generations.

CMS Program Enables More Home-Based Care for America’s Seniors

What
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is enhancing Medicaid funding to states that want to provide more home and community-based services for the elderly and disabled. The funding is authorized under an AffordableCare Act program called the Balancing Incentive Program.

Who
CMS recently announced that Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia and Iowa will be awarded federal Medicaid matching funds for this effort. These funds allow residents to choose to continue living in their homes and communities rather than in traditional care settings. States are eligible if less than 50 percent of their total long-term spending goes toward home and community-based services. A total of $3 billion is available.

Why
Medicaid coverage for home or community-based services is optional for States, though all have opted to provide this coverage, and consumer demand is often greater than the state’s available resources. Most people prefer to live in a community setting and this program allows seniors to do so while receiving patient-preferred, high-quality care at a lower cost.