Source: mHealth Intelligence
The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 would expand Medicare coverage for seniors who choose to go home after a hospital stay rather than to a skilled nursing facility. It would also open the door to remote patient monitoring, telehealth and other services.
– Home healthcare providers are divided over a bill introduced this week in the Senate that would expand Medicare coverage for seniors choosing home-based services, including telehealth and remote patient monitoring programs, after a hospitalization.
The Choose Home Care Act of 2021, introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN), aims to give more seniors the option to receive care at home for 30 days after a hospitalization, rather than going to a skilled nursing facility or other transitional setting. The legislation would open the door to a variety of home-based services, including skilled nursing, therapy, primary care, personal care, RPM, telehealth, meals, home adaptations and non-emergent transportation.
“The Choose Home Care Act represents a tremendous step forward for Medicare beneficiaries who would prefer to recover at home, but have been previously prevented from doing so under current policy restrictions,” William A. Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), said in a press release. “Given the many benefits of accessing healthcare and support services at home, as well as the importance of protecting vulnerable patients from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, this must-pass legislation would go a long way to improve seniors’ health in a safe, cost-effective way.”
But not everyone agrees. Amid a flurry of press releases issued after news of the bill’s introduction came out, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living offered a strong rebuke.
“We adamantly oppose this bill in its current form,” the group said in a statement. “The complex Choose Home Care Act would supplant existing benefits, create duplicative payments, confuse beneficiaries and increase out-of-pocket costs. At the same time, this legislation lacks clear quality and safety provisions, leaving patients vulnerable to inadequate care.”
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