According to the U.S. Department for Health & Human Services’ National Center for Health Statistics, an estimated 27 million people will need some type of long-term care by 2050. Of those 27 million, the majority will receive long-term care in the community. Skilled home healthcare is a leading provider of formal, community-based care.
The NCHS report states, “Older Americans will increasingly constitute a larger percentage of the population in the future—from about 12% in 2006 to almost 20% in 2030. The majority of people using home health and hospice care services are over age 65 years. Most of them have multiple chronic conditions, and home health and hospice care services enable many of them to receive services in their homes and communities.”
In addition to the rapid growth in Americans eligible for Medicare, the program’s home health care beneficiary population is generally the sickest, poorest and most vulnerable in the Medicare program. When compared to all other Medicare beneficiaries, home health patients typically face greater challenges.
Source: Avalere analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, Access to Care file 2010.
The demographics of the Medicare home health population further illustrate the valuable role home health has now, and in the future, in keeping seniors healthier and happier in their home environment.
Who is Fight Fraud First!
Fight Fraud First! is a collaborative effort among advocates, seniors, persons with disabilities, military veterans, and minority communities. The coalition advocates that every effort should be taken to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from the Medicare and Medicaid programs before any cuts are made to beneficiaries who rely on these important services.
Call to Action
In December of 2012, the coalition issued letters to House and Senate Leadership urging Congress to support program integrity reforms rather than across-the-board cuts or increasing seniors’ out-of-pocket costs. FFF! supports targeted reforms that stop improper and fraudulent payments before they occur.
Additionally, the coalition is urging concerned Americans to sign a petition to Congress with the same request: to eliminate the bad actors from Medicare who cause rampant waste, fraud and abuse in the system. The petition has more than 4,000 signers to date, but we need more to help make our voices heard in the halls of Congress. Please visit the website and tell Congress to fight fraud first!
Progress in Home Healthcare
The Partnership and other leaders in the home care community have crafted a proposal entitled the Skilled Home Health and Integrity and Programs Savings (SHHIPS) Act that outlines program integrity reform and aims to stop waste, fraud and abuse by preventing it before taxpayer dollars ever fall into the wrong hands.
With targeted reforms, Congressional action and support from the healthcare community, we can eliminate fraud and protect our nation’s seniors.