September 19, 2023
Statement Regarding the “Aging in Place: The Vital Role of Home Health in Access to Care” Hearing
Today, the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care held an important hearing on home healthcare titled “Aging in Place: The Vital Role of Home Health in Access to Care.”
Below is a statement by Joanne Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH):
“The Medicare home health community is pleased that Congress recognizes the vital role home health plays in our nation’s healthcare system. From helping hospitals free up capacity by discharging eligible patients to the right setting, to empowering older Americans to recover from serious illness or injury in the place they love most, to saving Medicare billions of dollars annually, home health is a critically important benefit whatever way you slice it.
With demand for Medicare home healthcare on the rise, the costs of care skyrocketing, and a nationwide workforce shortage, the inability of hospitals to discharge patients to home health due to capacity constraints recently hit an all-time high, according to third-party data. All of this underscores the need for policymakers to support home health.
Unfortunately, the severe cuts proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are the exact wrong policy at the exact wrong time. If finalized, the cuts would absolutely decimate beneficiary access to the care seniors overwhelmingly prefer. We are pleased that Congress is paying attention to this critical issue and is taking steps to prevent the implementation of continued cuts, including bipartisan support for the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023, to help ensure beneficiaries’ access to home health now and in the years to come.”