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The Perception of Home Health Care Has Changed in Recent Years, for the Better

There may be numerous myths and misconceptions regarding home health care among the general population in the United States, but the overall perception of what these services offer has been improving. However, not everyone is fully versed on the value home care offers aging men and women as well as disabled adults.

There are a number of new lawmakers in Congress now, several of them young, ambitious, and who may need more information about the value of home care support. According to an op-ed written for The Hill, it’s important for these new lawmakers to gain a proper perspective on the support that home health care offers aging and disabled men and women.

In an op-ed for The Hill entitled, Congress must step up to protect Medicare home health care, written by Keith Myers:

“For lawmakers new to Congress, it is important to understand the value the Medicare home health benefit brings to an estimated 3.5 million beneficiaries annually. For beneficiaries needing home health care, it is an essential benefit allowing them to keep their independence while receiving necessary clinical care. Every day, home health professionals deliver quality medical care – such as cardiac care, wound care, pain management and therapies – that was once only offered in a hospital or clinical setting.” 

It’s not just about being comfortable in one’s own home or receiving care that is an important issue, but also about cost. Numerous studies indicate that federal spending can be reduced if home care is supported more than other costlier options.

One of the most commonly thought about options people consider when it comes to the elderly are nursing homes. However, nursing homes are some of the most expensive options available and when Medicaid funds a nursing home stay, compared to what a home care aide might cost, the difference can be staggering.

Starting in 2013 and completed in 2017, though, a 14 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursements to home health care services was implemented as a way to help pay for the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Congress has also looked to CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) as a way to reduce spending, usually by cutting home care support even further.

The more information Congress has about the value and importance home health care offers elderly and disabled men and women across the country, they may be less inclined to continue slashing spending in this important discipline.

Citizens and lawmakers alike are increasingly becoming aware of the value home care offers, not just emotionally for those who rely on these services, but also fiscally.

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