Home Care Patients Could See Aid Cut

In the piney woods of South Georgia, 70-year-old Claude Cox is home receiving daily intravenous antibiotics over the next 10 weeks to combat a bacterial infection in his left lung.

The leukemia patient spent four days instead of many weeks in the hospital thanks to home health care services which send a nurse to his house to help administer the antibiotics. In a cost-efficient move, Medicare pays for home health care to keep patients out of hospitals--a program combining efficiency with compassion.

But if President Obama and Congress have their way, Cox and many of the other 3.2 million Medicare patients who utilize home health care benefits could be cut off next year. Congress may not have adopted a health reform bill yet, but the administration and Congress are already taking steps to ration cost-effective, life-saving programs such as home health care.

Home health care produces better outcomes by keeping patients out of hospitals or nursing homes, allowing them to heal in a more personalized setting.

Bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an order in mid-August cutting $34 billion from home health care programs for Medicare over the next 10 years.

If these cuts prevail, it could put more than two-thirds of the nation's 9,800 home health care providers out of business by 2011.

Rather than target crooks that rip off the taxpayers to the tune of $80 to $120 billion annually in Medicare and Medicaid programs, the administration and Congress are aiming at the defenseless: homebound patients who need help feeding, dressing, taking their medication or even utilizing the bathroom.

A recent study released by Avalere Health found that early use of home health care after hospitalization for those with chronic diseases saved Medicare $1.71 billion from 2005-06.

Home health care produces better outcomes by keeping patients out of hospitals or nursing homes, allowing them to heal in a more personalized setting, according to the Rand Corp.

Many of the 3.2 million Medicare patients who use home health services will be the first victims of health care rationing as a result of the Obama Healthcare Reform Movement. This gives all of us a glimpse life under a Washington-run health care system.

Unfortunately, it is the homebound, the very sick and disabled who may be the first to pay the price for the politicians hell bent on financing "free" health care for all.

Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at AEI. Nancy Desmond is president and CEO of the Center for Health Transformation.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

To secure southern border, US must lead international effort to stabilize Central America
image The Ryan pro-work, anti-poverty plan: Thomas Aquinas 1, Ayn Rand 0
image Does SNAP support work? Yes and no
image Obama Democrats lose their big bet on health exchanges
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.