New State Poll: New Mexico Seniors Support Action to Prevent Proposed Cuts to Medicare Home Health Benefit

- Nine out of 10 New Mexico seniors prefer to receive medical care at home -

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data on New Mexico seniors' opinions on the value of skilled home healthcare services in the Medicare program and proposed cuts that threaten to reduce Medicare payments for home health by an unprecedented 14 percent.  The survey polled 548 New Mexico registered voters aged 65 and older.

Overwhelmingly, New Mexico 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 to 2017, resulting in a total cut of 14 percent, which would devastate New Mexico's home health provider community and potentially create access challenges for the state's 16,000 home health Medicare beneficiaries.

New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes effect in its current form, New Mexico will have an overall negative Medicare margin of -14.1 percent by 2017 with 78 percent of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.

The survey findings show:

  • 91% of New Mexico seniors favor the Medicare home health benefit, which provides care for 16,000 New Mexicans.
  • 89% of New Mexico seniors oppose more cuts to Medicare payments for home healthcare, which have already been cut by $72.5 billion since 2009.
  • 90% of New Mexico seniors prefer to receive medical treatment at home.
  • 83% of New Mexico seniors think President Obama and Congress should take action to prevent proposed cuts to the Medicare home health benefit.
  • 78% of seniors are more likely to support lawmakers who fight to preserve home health and take action to stop the proposed Medicare cuts.

"In full, New Mexico's home health community is facing $374 million in Medicare cuts, which could cripple our state's home health provider community and jeopardize patient access to these services.  Without home healthcare services, seniors will be forced to receive care outside their home, away from their families and in more expensive settings," said Joie Glenn, RN, MBA, CAE, Executive Director of the New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care. "We urge our leaders in Washington to carefully consider the impact of these cuts on our state's most vulnerable patient population."

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

New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care is a resource that serves its membership by facilitating advocacy, networking, education and communication to promote success and best practices in home and hospice care and related support services. With 40 years of experience and more than 150 agency members – the New Mexico Association for Home and Hospice Care works to ensure that every New Mexican in need of care who wants to stay at home has access to quality care- at home. Learn more at http://www.nmahc.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



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