Every election season, it is important for Americans to exercise their right vote. However, for some Americans, this can be a challenge.
The 3.5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities served by the Medicare home health benefit are considered homebound, and therefore cannot travel to polling locations.
This November, it is especially important for Medicare’s poorest, sickest, and most vulnerable patients to make their voice heard. Recently, Medicare slated the home health benefit to be cut by 14 percent over the next 4 years, placing at risk millions of patients and hard working professionals as well as thousands of American small businesses.
While many of our patients cannot vote in person, we can help them get to the polls by bringing the vote home. The video below highlights an initiative that gives patients, caregivers, advocates, and clinicians the tools to register, obtain absentee ballots, and submit ballots from home!
A study conducted by MedStar Washington Hospital Center found that home-based primary care incurred 17 percent lower overall Medicare costs over a course of two years.
The report published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found patients who received home-based care had:
- 10 percent fewer ER visits,
- 9 percent fewer hospitalizations, and
- 27 percent fewer stays in a nursing home.
The study comes at an interesting time, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently imposed cuts of 14 percent on the Medicare home health benefit as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
The results add confusion to an already unprecedented, value-blind decision to cut cost-effective programs for our country’s most vulnerable patients – and it lends serious weight to objections to these cuts.
Eric De Jonge, MD, co-founder of the Medical House Call program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, discussed the study in more detail in the video below: