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SOURCE Minnesota HomeCare Association
- Nearly 9 out of 10 Minnesota seniors prefer to receive medical care at home -
ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minnesota HomeCare Association and Bring the Vote Home today released new polling data on Minnesota seniors' opinions on the value of skilled home healthcare services in the Medicare program and proposed cuts that threaten to reduce Medicare payments for home health by an unprecedented 14 percent. The survey polled 540 Minnesotan registered voters aged 65 and older.
Overwhelmingly, Minnesota seniors favor Medicare home health services and oppose additional cuts to the benefit, which ensures access to clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient preferred home healthcare.
In June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed regulation that would "rebase" home health Medicare payments by 3.5 percent annually from 2014 to 2017, resulting in a total cut of 14 percent, which would devastate Minnesota's home health provider community and potentially create access challenges for the state's 31,000 home health Medicare beneficiaries.
New analyses reveal that if the proposed rule takes affect in its current form, Minnesota will have an overall negative Medicare margin of -15.4 percent by 2017 with 64 percent of its home health agencies operating with a Medicare margin at or below zero percent.
The survey findings show:
"If these cuts take effect as proposed by CMS, Minnesota home health agencies will face $465 million in Medicare funding cuts over ten years, which will directly impact the delivery of home healthcare services to our state's seniors, particularly those living in rural areas," said ?Jennifer Sorensen, MEd, Executive Director of the Minnesota HomeCare Association. "This poll underscores concerns raised by the home health community that deeper cuts to the Medicare home health benefit are harmful to some of our state's most vulnerable and elderly populations."
Public Policy Polling completed this survey August 19-20, 2013. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.
Minnesota HomeCare Association (MHCA) represents approximately 230 home care agency members who provide hands-on care to Minnesota residents in their homes. MHCA includes in its membership all types of agencies: county public health nursing services, hospital and nursing home-based programs, proprietary, and private non-profit. About two-thirds are located in greater Minnesota, and one-third are in the seven-county metropolitan area. Learn more at http://www.mnhomecare.org.
Bring the Vote Home was launched to help senior citizens, disabled Americans, their family members, and their home healthcare clinicians participate in elections through voter registration and absentee ballot application initiatives. Home healthcare beneficiaries make up a rapidly growing portion of the population, but the homebound status of many of them makes it difficult for them to participate in the electoral process. Bring the Vote Home is dedicated to helping all members of the home healthcare community have the opportunity to participate fully in our nation's democratic process. Learn more at http://www.bringthevotehome.org.
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