September 14, 2021

New Public Opinion Poll Finds Strong Support for Home Health, Choose Home Care Act

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Washington, D.C. –– The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today announced the results of a new public opinion poll, which found strong support for expanding home health options following hospitalization and the bipartisan Choose Home Care Act

The poll, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Partnership, found that a majority of respondents support greater patient choice and access to healthcare in the comfort, safety, and familiarity of one’s home. The findings underscore the popularity of home health and the importance of passing the Choose Home Care Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill designed to establish a cost-effective and patient preferred home-based extended care program to supplement the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for patients who choose to recover at home following a hospitalization.

Specifically, the Morning Consult poll found:

  • Over nine in ten Medicare beneficiaries (94%) say they would prefer to receive post-hospital short-term health care at home. Only 3% say they would prefer a nursing home.
  • 85% of adults say it should be a high priority for the federal government to expand Medicare coverage for at-home health care. 90% of those over age 65 say this should be a high priority for the federal government.
  • 86% of adults, including 94% of Medicare beneficiaries, support the Choose Home Care Act. The bill has wide bipartisan support with 83% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats showing support for the Choose Home Care Act.

“The results of the new poll show what we’ve long appreciated: a vast majority of Americans support greater access to healthcare services in the comfort and safety of their own homes,” said Joanne Cunningham, Executive Director of the Partnership. “As Congress continues to consider the bipartisan Choose Home Care Act, it will be critical to ensure that the needs of Medicare beneficiaries and their families are being met in today’s changing healthcare landscape. In order to ensure more older Americans are able to recover from hospitalization in the setting they prefer and deserve, we urge lawmakers in Congress to support the Choose Home Care Act.”

The Partnership and NAHC strongly support the bipartisan Choose Home Care Act. The legislation, introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN) in July and endorsed by AARP and the Allies for Independence, is designed to increase access to care at home by providing eligible Medicare beneficiaries with an additional care option following hospitalization—an important Medicare policy change that will strengthen and modernize the program by offering beneficiaries a safe, high-quality post-acute care option for nursing home level services provided in the home.

“This important poll confirms the growing public support for improved opportunities to “age in place” with health care in one’s own home. The Choose Home legislation provides such an opportunity with high quality care that reduces Medicare spending while fulfilling patient preferences. It is a timely modernization of Medicare,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi.

If enacted, the Choose Home Care Act would enable eligible Medicare patients (as determined by a carefully controlled assessment tool) to receive extended care services as an add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for 30 days post-discharge. The Choose Home Care Act would help seriously ill individuals to recover safely at home, increase patient and family satisfaction, and significantly reduce the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or other infectious diseases. Choose Home would also save the Medicare Trust Fund in avoided nursing home costs for patients who are able to receive nursing home level care in the home.

The poll was conducted by Morning Consult between August 11-15, 2021 among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

To view the survey results, click here.

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