September 13, 2019
Legislators Need to Back Act to Help Medicare Beneficiaries’ Caregivers
South Carolina has a burgeoning population of baby boomers who are entering Medicare each day. The state ranks 14th in the U.S. for the expected growth of individuals aged 60 and older from 2000 – 2030, with a 133.7% growth rate.
Furthermore, there are more than 15,000 home health professionals in South Carolina who help care for over 61,000 Medicare beneficiaries annually.
In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced a new payment policy governing how home health care providers are reimbursed. This policy – the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) – would allow Medicare to make adjustments to provider payments based on assumptions about what caregivers might do instead of how they are actually serving their patients.
Thankfully, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., is working to protect services for Medicare beneficiaries. Last month, he became a co-sponsor of the Home Health Payment Innovation Act of 2019 (S. 433) – which requires Medicare to implement reimbursement rate adjustments only after Medicare observes any behavioral billing changes by home health agencies.
I urge our state’s other elected officials to join Sen. Scott to safeguard home health care for aging South Carolinians by passing this important legislation this year.