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

Sep 11, 2013, 12:20 ET from Bring the Vote Home

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

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HomeCare Association of Arkansas and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data on Arkansas 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 645 Arkansas registered voters aged 65 and older.

Overwhelmingly, Arkansas 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 devastate Arkansas' home health provider community and create access challenges for the state's 36,000 home health Medicare beneficiaries.

New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes affect in its current form, Arkansas will have an overall negative Medicare margin of -18.1% by 2017 with 74.4% of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.

The survey findings show:

  • 91% of Arkansas seniors favor the Medicare home health benefit, which provides care for more than 36,000 Arkansans.
  • 86% of Arkansas seniors oppose more cuts to Medicare payments for home healthcare, which have already been cut by $72.5 billion since 2009.
  • 90% of Arkansas seniors prefer to receive medical treatment at home.
  • 85% of Arkansas 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.

"Medicare's proposed cut would be catastrophic to our state's home health provider community.  With a growing number of seniors entering the Medicare program, now is the time to encourage home health services, no limit them," said Nancy Elphingstone, Executive Director of the HomeCare Association of Arkansas. "Arkansas seniors are counting on the government to protect the skilled home health services they prefer, therefore we strongly urge CMS to reassess their proposed rule to ensure home healthcare and the patients it serves are not harmed."

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

Established in 1981, the HomeCare Association of Arkansas provides assistance to the Arkansas Association of Home Health Agencies meeting the challenges of the future with an unwavering commitment to its membership, the state, the nation and those whom its members serve.  Learn more at

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

SOURCE Bring the Vote Home