BALTIMORE, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The American Academy of Home Care Medicine (Academy) is very concerned the Medicare cuts beginning in 2021 threaten care for patients receiving primary care in their homes when they are being encouraged to stay home to stay safe. The Academy strongly disagrees with CMS’ decision in the CY 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule to cut payments for home-based primary care (HBPC) visits by 8-10%. “We are concerned about the risk to access to primary care services for elderly, chronically ill patients and the sustainability of HBPC practices,” said Theresa Soriano, MD, MPH, President, AAHCM.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, home-based care interdisciplinary teams or providers have demonstrated the ability to limit exposure risk for these vulnerable populations while continuing to provide them with necessary and appropriate care services using telemedicine and advanced, point-of-service testing and monitoring technologies.
The Academy supports, as a short-term fix, current legislation under consideration which would postpone the cuts finalized in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Amidst a pandemic, when chronically ill seniors are safest at home, we urge policymakers to actively promote home-based medical care with an increase in payment, rather than a cut. “The time has come to protect seniors and shift care into the home, where people want to be, with their families and loved ones,” said Dr. Soriano.
The Academy appreciates the work that policymakers have done to support HBPC providers in doing what they do best – caring for patients in their time of need. To continue providing access and quality of care to the sickest, frailest, most vulnerable home limited beneficiaries, we must work together to address the 8-10% cuts and fully support patient care in the home.
About the American Academy of Home Care Medicine
The American Academy of Home Care Medicine has been serving the needs of thousands of home care medicine professionals since 1987. Our members include home care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who make house calls, care for homebound patients, act as home health agency and hospice medical directors, and refer patients to home care agencies; home care organizations; medical directors of managed care plans; and administrators of medical groups interested in home care. Their specialties include internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, geriatrics, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. The Academy delivers on the promise of interdisciplinary, high-value health care in the home for all people in need by promoting the art, science, and practice of home care medicine. To learn more, visit www.aahcm.org.
Canton & Company for AAHCM
SOURCE American Academy of Home Care Medicine