September 13, 2019

Legislators Need to Back Act to Help Medicare Beneficiaries’ Caregivers

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The State

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.

Click here to see the article on The State’s website.