Starting Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin slashing 14 percent of their Home Health Care Prospective Payment Program budget, driving small home health-care providers out of business and potentially affecting millions of poor, elderly citizens in need of physical rehabilitation.
The cuts — which are being made to fund Obamacare — will slash the homecare budget 3.5 percent every year for the next four.
“By CMS’s own calculation, 40 percent or nearly 5,000 home health companies — mainly small businesses — will experience a “net loss” in revenue due to the cuts and go into the red by 2017,” The Washington Examiner reports. “That will put many of them out of business.”
The cuts to Medicare are part of approximately $716 billion Obamacare takes from the program between now and 2022.
While CMS was allowed to choose where to make the cuts, the centers opted to ”impose a maximum 3.5 percent cut each year through 2017 to reach the 14-percent reduction,” The Examiner reports.
“Congress asked CMS to do a comprehensive evaluation of the home health benefit, to isolate what works and what needs improvement, how to increase access and efficiency, and how to reduce costs while improving the quality of care,” National Association for Home Care & Hospice President Val J. Halamandaris said in a statement following the November rule decision. “CMS did none of this. Instead, all they did was look to impose the largest possible cut —3.5 percent a year — on the Medicare home health benefit. This adds up to 14 percent over the next four years, or a total of $22 billion.”