Oregon Republican proposes alternative to home health cuts
Published by Statesman Journal
July 15, 2014
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, introduced a bill Tuesday that he said would stop the cuts the Obama Administration has made to the Medicare home health care benefits while finding savings through other reforms.
The bill, called Securing Access Via Excellence Medicare Home Health Act of 2014, proposes using quality measures to reward home health agencies that provide quality, low-cost care, while lowering payments to those that don't perform to standard.
Hospital readmission rates for Medicare home care beneficiaries would be a key quality measure, according to the bill summary.
Walden said in a press release that his bill addresses the issue of cost while promoting quality and protecting older Americans' access to home health care. The legislation is the Oregon Republican's response to the Affordable Care Act's 14-percent cut to Medicare home health payments over four years.
The press release from Walden's office said more than 15,000 Oregonians already benefiting from home health services could lose access to their providers and nearly 3,000 home health care workers in Oregon could lose their jobs. The data was attributed to Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.
"But the Obama Administration's cuts have put thousands of Oregon seniors in danger of losing their home health care," Walden said in a statement. "That's why I've introduced legislation to stop these harsh cuts and replace them with smart reforms that reward home health agencies that provide high value care to their patients. We'll get more for our money and better care for patients without these across the board cuts."
See the original article here.