Cuts to Medicare threaten patient care, access

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed significant cuts to home healthcare payment rates beginning as early as 2023. Home health agencies across the country are imploring Congress to act so that patients across the country will continue to have access to affordable, quality care.

Kevin Ordonez, a Healing Hands Healthcare physical therapy assistant, works with a knee surgery patient. Healthcare advocates say planned cuts to Medicare could be a disaster for their patients.

New CMS payment rule proposes billions in steep cuts to home health care

The CMS proposed rule, first released on June 17, will cut rates by an unprecedented, permanent -7.69% ($1.33 billion in 2023 alone). The net result of this, including inflation updates, would include a 4.2% decrease to aggregate home health payments, or $810 million less than 2022. CMS is also trying to claw back more than $2 billion from the sector as early as 2024.

The cumulative impact of these cuts is billions of dollars being carved out of the Medicare home health program. Providers are already facing significant challenges due to the pandemic. This cut will continue to threaten patient care and access to affordable care. Small, rural, and medically underserved communities will be uniquely harmed as well.