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

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

LEMOYNE, Pa., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Homecare Association and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data on Pennsylvania 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 690 Pennsylvanian registered voters aged 65 and older.

Overwhelmingly, Pennsylvania 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 an unprecedented cut of 14 percent, which would deeply impact Pennsylvania's home health provider community and create access challenges for the state's 143,000 home health Medicare beneficiaries.

New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes affect in its current form, Pennsylvania will have an overall negative Medicare margin of -6.6 percent by 2017 with 61.3 percent of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.

The survey findings show:

  • 90% of Pennsylvania seniors favor the Medicare home health benefit, which provides care for 143,000 Pennsylvanians.
  • 87% of Pennsylvania seniors oppose more cuts to Medicare payments for home healthcare, which have already been cut by $72.5 billion since 2009.
  • 86% of Pennsylvania seniors prefer to receive medical treatment at home.
  • 82% of Pennsylvania 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.

"If these cuts take effect as proposed by CMS, Pennsylvania's home health community stands to experience an unparalleled $2.78 billion in Medicare funding cuts over 10 years," said Vicki Hoak, Chief Executive Officer of Pennsylvania Homecare Association.  "Cuts of this magnitude would cripple our state's home health provider community and put patient access to cost-effective and patient preferred care at risk. We urge lawmakers to look at this data closely and recognize that these cuts clearly aren't what our state's seniors want."

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

The Pennsylvania Homecare Association is a state trade association representing more than 500 organizations that provide care and support to individuals in their own homes. PHA helps its members tackle every day challenges. With a member-centered focus, the association champions efforts that range from advocating on behalf of patients and consumers, interpreting and developing regulations and legislation to exploring needs and business strategies.  Learn more at http://www.pahomecare.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.pahomecare.org
http://www.bringthevotehome.org

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