NAHC Responds to Recent Health Affairs Report
August 15, 2014 10:05 AM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) recently responded to a study that appeared in Health Affairs that is critical of for-profit home health agencies. While the Health Affairs analysis found that for-profit home healthcare agencies had an average cost per patient that is 18 percent higher than not-for-profit agencies, NAHC disputes the validity of the analysis, stating the cost-report data used in the survey to justify its findings was not reliable. Additionally, neither MedPAC nor CMS use the information that was used as the basis for the analysis in a similar way.
A recent article in Modern Healthcare highlighted the Health Affairs findings, and also included NAHC’s response. According to the article, the Health Affairs study “goes further, posing the question of whether for-profit home health agencies should be allowed to continue receiving payments under Medicare; before 1980 they couldn’t be paid through Medicare.”
NAHC also firmly rejects this conclusion, citing the severe access to care this would cause, and rejecting the assumption that care delivered by for-profit compared to non-profit agencies makes a difference in the cost or quality of care delivered.
According to Bill Dombi, NAHC’s Vice President for Law, Health Affairs’ conclusion“that Medicare should consider a return to a ban on proprietary home health agencies would deprive millions of Medicare beneficiaries access to home care as most cities, towns and rural areas have few, if any, nonprofit agencies. We have found that the tax status of a home health agency is not the determinant of its quality of care or cost of operation.”
To read the full Modern Healthcare article, please click here.