Medicare Home Health Beneficiaries Already Have Significant "Skin In The Game" By Maintaining Housing, Associated Costs Of Living
New analysis quantifies beneficiaries' existing cost burden and finds that that imposing a copayment could lead to greater expense for Medicare and taxpayers
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis conducted by the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare with Avalere Health finds that Medicare home health beneficiaries already bear significant out-of-pocket expenditures by staying in their own homes. The study also finds that Medicare home health beneficiaries enable Medicare to avoid considerable costs that would otherwise be borne by the program and taxpayers if beneficiaries were instead served in institutional settings.
"For years, we've heard the argument that seniors need to put 'skin in the game'," said Chairman Billy Tauzin, senior counsel to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. "I would argue, and this study confirms, that by paying for their own housing and associated costs of living, Medicare home health beneficiaries are contributing considerable 'skin in the game' and saving Medicare precious dollars."According to Avalere Health's data analysis, the average annual cost of basic living expenses for low-income beneficiaries in the community is $15,648, which represents a beneficiary contribution that helps reduce Medicare spending. The analysis further indicates that low-income seniors' annual living costs exceed 50 percent of their annual income. By absorbing these costs and remaining in their homes, beneficiaries enable Medicare to deliver services in the least costly setting – patients' own homes. A troubling result of home healthcare copayments could be an increase in the number of patients who forego routine care and end up with more serious and costly health issues as a result. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that while copayments succeeded in reducing the number of outpatient visits, costly hospital admissions actually increased under such a scenario. The researchers concluded that the cost of the additional hospitalizations exceeded the savings from the decrease in outpatient visits. "We know, unequivocally, that seniors prefer to age in place and that today's skilled home healthcare services succeed in keeping many Americans healthy and out of costlier settings," added Tauzin. "Copayments for home healthcare act as a disincentive for this least costly alternative and thus are bad for Medicare, bad for seniors, and bad for our efforts to keep more Americans healthy at home. Congress learned this lesson once before, repealing this bad idea in 1977. It's a lesson we should not have to learn again."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV