Opinion: Medicare cuts would undermine the movement to increasing in-home care

The COVID-19 pandemic supercharged in-home care in the U.S. Suddenly it became possible to get a house call from a primary care provider; home-based physical therapy, dialysis, or an infusion of medicine; even a full complement of hospital-level services at home became possible. And Americans overwhelmingly liked it.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently proposed a 4.2% cut ($810 million) in home health services, the underpinning of home-based services in Medicare. These include in-home services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical supplies, skilled nursing, and more. Medicare and other payers need to be building on that foundation, not chipping away at it, to achieve a broader set of home-based care options for patients, which provide them and their families with better outcomes, better quality of life, sustained independence, and lower costs.

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