2014

New State Poll: New Hampshire Seniors Urge Action to Prevent Proposed Cuts to Medicare Home Health Payments

- More than 8 out of 10 New Hampshire seniors prefer to receive medical care at home -

CONCORD, N.H., Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Hampshire's home health leaders today released new polling data on New Hampshire 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 549 New Hampshire registered voters aged 65 and older.

Overwhelmingly, New Hampshire seniors favor Medicare home health services and oppose cuts that harm 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 devastate New Hampshire's home health provider community and create access challenges for the state's 19,264 home health Medicare beneficiaries.

New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes affect in its current form, New Hampshire's home health agencies will have an average Medicare margin of -8.4% by 2017 with 65.5% of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.

The survey findings show:

  • 93% of New Hampshire seniors favor the Medicare home health benefit, which provides care for 19,264 New Hampshire residents.
  • 93% of New Hampshire seniors oppose more cuts to Medicare payments for home healthcare, which have already been cut by $72.5 billion since 2009.
  • 89% of New Hampshire seniors prefer to receive medical treatment at home.
  • 88% of New Hampshire seniors think President Obama and Congress should take action to prevent proposed cuts to the Medicare home health benefit.
  • 84% of seniors are more likely to support lawmakers who fight to preserve home health and take action to stop the proposed Medicare cuts.

"We urge the Administration and Congress to carefully weigh the opinions of our state's seniors, who are counting on the government to protect the skilled home health services they prefer," said Gina Balkus, CEO of the Granite State Home Health Association. "Medicare's proposed cut would force our state's home health provider community to limit services or close their doors completely. I urge New Hampshire residents to contact Senators Ayotte and Shaheen and Representative Shea-Porter or Kuster and express their concerns about losing access to Medicare-covered healthcare services in their home."

Public Policy Polling completed this survey August 19-20, 2013.  The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.

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.

The Granite State Home Health Association is a non-profit organization that advocates on issues related to home care agencies and the people they serve.

SOURCE Bring the Vote Home




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