Cuts could compromise home health services

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Many of us here in Virginia have experienced the sadness of a loved one’s illness, or realized that the aging process has taken a toll on his or her health and ability to function. It’s a significant life adjustment when one’s body and condition deteriorates, requiring you to rely on the skilled care of others to remain healthy.
Fortunately, for many years seniors and their families have had access to skilled home health providers, who – working in close collaboration with a patient’s physician and healthcare team – offer important disease management, follow up and rehabilitation services to keep patients healthy in their homes and out of the hospital.
Unfortunately, the ability for providers to continue their work may soon be compromised. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C. has proposed a new policy that would significantly reduce the funding reimbursed to providers by Medicare. The policy is complicated, but the result is simple: if enacted, skilled home health providers in every state will ultimately lose money on services they provide, severely impacting their ability to stay in business.
Skilled home health is important to our community and to our loved ones who rely on it. I hope your readers will join me in calling our members of Congress and asking them to intervene with CMS and stop this proposed change.
Kippy Anderson, RN