October 22, 2019
Protect home health in Washington for Medicare seniors
The Spokesman Review
It’s official: Washington has one of the most rapidly growing senior populations in the country.
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of people aged 65 and older in our state jumped by a whopping 47.2%. Today, we have 1 million retirees throughout the state, and the elderly population is forecast to skyrocket even more in the coming decades. According to a report by the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services, the elderly population is projected to reach almost 2 million, representing 22 percent of the state’s total population, by 2040.
As people in the Evergreen State live longer – and seek treatment for chronic, complex illness – we face substantial challenges in providing the high-quality home health care that patients and families overwhelmingly want. Unfortunately, a new Medicare regulation imposed by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., will make it harder for health care providers to offer home health services to seniors who want it.
Home health is vital for Medicare patients across the country, including nearly 50,000 in Washington state alone. By taking advantage of skilled health care services in the comfort of their own homes, elderly patients enjoy greater independence and security, aging at home where they prefer to remain. Not only does home health help patients stay close to loved ones, it helps them stay out of hospitals and institutional care settings.