- Data analyses underscore that deep Medicare cuts to home health impact a population that is disproportionately vulnerable and female -

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Medicare Home Health Beneficiary Population is Older, Poorer, Sicker

and More Likely to be Women and Minorities than All Other Medicare


WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New analyses

completed by Avalere Health and Dobson DaVanzo & Associates released

today by the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare find that the

majority of Medicare home health beneficiaries and caregivers, both

skilled and informal, are women and that Medicare home health

beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable of all Medicare


The newly-released data show more than 60 percent of Medicare home

health beneficiaries are women. An estimated 90 percent of registered

nurses, occupational therapists, and home health aides - professionals

that are commonly employed by home health agencies - are women, as

well. Avalere Health analysis also reveals that the Medicare

beneficiaries who receive home health services are older, poorer,

sicker and more likely to be minorities than the rest of the Medicare

beneficiary population.

"These data underscore that the deep cut to Medicare home health

resulting from the Affordable Care Act poses a disproportionate risk

to women and vulnerable seniors," stated Eric Berger, CEO of the

Partnership. "According to Administration estimates, 'approximately

40 percent' of all home health agencies will experience net losses as

a result of the Obamacare home health cut. As demonstrated by these

data, the cut's impact will be most felt by the women - who primarily

staff home health agencies - and the vulnerable, female and minority

patients they serve."

The Medicare home health benefit on which 3.5 million seniors depend

is being subjected to a 14 percent cut in funding, due to the

imposition of a four-year, 3.5 percent per year rebasing adjustment

implemented by the Obama Administration on January 1 using

discretionary authority granted by the Affordable Care Act. According

to the Administration, the Obamacare cut will cause "approximately 40

percent" of all home health providers to operate at a loss by 2017.

The cut was opposed by seniors advocates, hospitals, home health and

other providers, and small business experts due to the threat it poses

to low-cost, high quality home healthcare.

The data released today demonstrates that Medicare home health

beneficiaries are older, sicker, poorer, are more likely to be female,

are more likely to be members of ethnic or racial minority

populations, and have greater functional limitations, disabling

conditions, and greater difficulty completing routine tasks than all

other beneficiaries in the Medicare program. A summary of the

findings is below:

Avalere Home Health Beneficiary Study: Key Findings Medicare Home Health Beneficiaries All Other Medicare Beneficiaries

Women 60.07% 53.9%

Beneficiaries aged 85+ 24.4% 12.1%

Beneficiaries with 4+ chronic conditions 74.7% 48.5%

Beneficiaries needing assistance with 2+ Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) 23.5% 7.6%

Beneficiaries at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) 66.2% 47.9%

Beneficiaries from ethnic or racial minority population 19.3% 14.9%

Dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries 26.7% 17.7%

"Without continued access to high-quality, clinically-effective care

provided in the Medicare program's lowest-cost setting - the home -

many of these vulnerable patients will have no other choice but to

obtain the care they need in more expensive institutional care

settings. As a result, we call on lawmakers to protect these

vulnerable patients from the further harm that would result from any

additional cuts to the Medicare home health benefit and, instead, join

our community in urging the Administration to moderate the deep ACA

cut recently imposed on these seniors," added Berger.

Additionally, as this newly imposed cut will drive 40 percent of home

health providers to net losses in the next four years, many agencies

will be forced to close their doors or make significant staffing

reductions, putting at risk an estimated 498,159 jobs. Due to the

make-up of the workforce, the large majority of these job losses will

affect women.

In conducting this analysis, Avalere Health used the 2011 Medicare

Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) Access to Care File, a national

representative survey of the Medicare population, as well as data from

the Bureau of Labor Statistics and HRSA.

To access the Avalere Health Medicare home health beneficiary

analysis, click here. To download the beneficiary and workforce

analysis, click here.

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare was established to assist

government officials in ensuring access to skilled home healthcare

services for seniors and disabled Americans. Representing community-

and hospital-based home healthcare agencies across the United States,

the Partnership is dedicated to developing innovative reforms to

improve the quality, efficiency and integrity of home healthcare. To

learn more, visit www.homehealth4america.org . To join the home

healthcare policy conversation, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter

and our blog .

SOURCE Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare

-0- 03/03/2014

/CONTACT: Emily White, 703-548-0019

/Web Site: http://www.homehealth4america.org

CO: Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare

ST: District of Columbia




-- DC75478 --

0000 03/03/2014 17:05:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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