New State Poll: Michigan Seniors Urge Action to Prevent Proposed Cuts to Medicare Home Health Benefit

- Nearly 9 out of 10 Michigan seniors prefer to receive medical care at home -

OKEMOS, Mich., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan's home health leaders today released new polling data on Michigan seniors' opinions on the value of skilled home healthcare services in the Medicare program and proposed cuts that threaten to reduce Medicare payments by an unprecedented 14 percent.  The survey polled 786 Michigan registered voters aged 65 and older.

Overwhelmingly, Michigan seniors favor Medicare home health services and oppose additional cuts to the benefit, which ensures access to clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient preferred home healthcare. 

In June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed regulation that would "rebase" home health Medicare payments by 3.5 percent annually from 2014–2017, resulting in an unprecedented cut of 14 percent, which would be damaging to Michigan's Medicare home health provider community and create access challenges for the state's 170,000 home health Medicare beneficiaries.

New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes affect in its current form, Michigan will have an overall negative Medicare margin of -13 percent by 2017 with 77.2 percent of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.

The survey findings show:

  • 91% of Michigan seniors favor the Medicare home health benefit, which provides care for 170,000 Michigan seniors.
  • 86% of Michigan seniors oppose more cuts to Medicare payments for home healthcare, which have already been cut by $72.5 billion since 2009.
  • 87% of Michigan seniors prefer to receive medical treatment at home.
  • 82% of Michigan seniors think President Obama and Congress should take action to prevent proposed cuts to the Medicare home health benefit.
  • 77% of seniors are more likely to support lawmakers who fight to preserve home health and take action to stop the proposed Medicare cuts.

"These results show our state's seniors are counting on Congress and the Administration to protect patient access to the skilled home health services seniors prefer," said Barry Cargill, Executive Director of the Michigan Association for Home Care. "Michigan seniors have spoken. We hear their call for increased support for skilled home health services. Without access to the services provided by our members, seniors will be forced to receive care outside their home, away from their families and in more expensive settings."

Public Policy Polling completed this survey August 19-21, 2013.  The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

Established in 1981, the Michigan Association for Home Care  (formerly MHHA) is the state trade association for providers of home health care. The Association provides a unified voice for all components of home care and promotes high standards of patient care in the delivery of home care services. The Association advocates for the role of home care within the total health care system. Its membership consists of over 360 certified, private duty, hospice, home medical equipment and pharmacy/infusion organizations. Learn more at http://www.homecaremi.org.

Bring the Vote Home was launched to help senior citizens, disabled Americans, their family members, and their home healthcare clinicians participate in elections through voter registration and absentee ballot application initiatives. Home healthcare beneficiaries make up a rapidly growing portion of the population, but the homebound status of many of them makes it difficult for them to participate in the electoral process. Bring the Vote Home is dedicated to helping all members of the home healthcare community have the opportunity to participate fully in our nation's democratic process. Learn more at http://www.bringthevotehome.org.

SOURCE Bring the Vote Home



RELATED LINKS
http://www.homecaremi.org
http://www.bringthevotehome.org

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