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Home Care News Digest for August 8

Home Care News Digest for August 8

Medicare Medicaid Private Duty

Read on for the latest home care industry news from around the country.

Preserving Access to Home Health Act Introduced in the House

Home Health Care News | August 1, 2023 | Full Story

Following introduction in the U.S. Senate earlier this summer, the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023 (H.R.5128) was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Adrian Smith (R-NE). The legislation seeks to prevent cuts to home health payments, a critical issue for the Medicare home health community. The bill also calls for The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to consider a comprehensive view of home health payment rates, addressing concerns that MedPAC's recommendations have not considered all revenue streams and have potentially provided a misleading perspective on the industry.

To protect the future viability of the Medicare home health program, the Preserving Access to Home Health Act must be implemented immediately. Please send an email to your members of Congress today urging them to support this critical legislation!

New CMS Dementia Care Model Opens Doors of Opportunity for Home-Based Care Providers

Home Health Care News | July 31, 2023 | Full Story

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model, a voluntary nationwide dementia care initiative aimed at supporting individuals with dementia and their unpaid caregivers. Set to launch on July 1, 2024, the model presents potential opportunities for various home-based care providers. Three key areas include the ability to contract with other Medicare providers, the focus on dementia care management including respite care, and the provision of care navigators to aid in accessing services and addressing social determinants of health. The GUIDE Model aligns with home-based care goals of keeping seniors with dementia in their homes and communities, offering a potential avenue for cost-effective, specialized care.

Is Managed Care a Good Delivery Model for People With Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities?

Florida Politics | July 31, 2023 | Full Story

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is proposing a Comprehensive Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Managed Care Pilot in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties to assess the viability of a managed care model for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. AHCA's waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) aims to launch the pilot on January 31, 2024. The program, which will accept up to 600 voluntary participants from Medicaid Regions D and I, seeks to provide home- and community-based services (HCBS) traditionally not covered by Medicaid. Advocates and experts emphasize the importance of a person-centered approach and careful consideration for the vulnerable population involved. The pilot comes after Florida lawmakers authorized the program's creation and provided funding for its testing.

Health Care Bankruptcies Are Skyrocketing, But Not Yet in Home-Based Care

Home Health Care News | July 28, 2023 | Full Story

Health care bankruptcies have surged, tripling the levels from 2021, but home-based care remains resilient amid this trend. Data reveals 40 health care bankruptcies in the first half of 2023, compared to 46 in 2022 and 25 in 2021. Factors contributing to this trend include capital constraints, shifts away from institutional care, and Medicaid enrollment changes. Payers' inadequate rate increases, rising labor and supply costs, and other pressures add to the challenges.

Although widespread bankruptcies can disrupt access to care, home-based care seems less affected. Despite senior care leading in bankruptcies, only two home-based care businesses filed for Chapter 11 since 2020. Patient preference and cost-effectiveness contribute to the sector's resilience. However, staying financially prepared and connected with lenders and investors is crucial for future stability.

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