In 2018, Congress passed a bill that affected Medicare recipients in several ways. Trying to find ways to cut Medicare costs, especially hospital readmissions, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This act expanded the ability of health insurers to pay for services that are not directly health-related yet improve a Medicare patient’s overall functioning.
Since 2018, many Medicare Advantage (MA) plan insurers have expanded benefits for their subscribers. These include the use of home care practitioners who can help patients cope after serious illnesses or hospitalization. Your MA plan may offer these benefits soon, if not now.
These benefits include home care, which differs from home health care. Home health care sends skilled medical workers to homes to provide medical services such as wound care and ostomy assistance. Today, more MA plan leaders are adding home care: helping with meals, retrieving prescriptions, ensuring the patient has an uncluttered environment to prevent falls, and doing household chores patients may require during their recovery. These types of services traditionally were private pay.
To reduce costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wanted to encourage innovation among health insurance administrators. It’s clear that home health care is an important addition to healing. Additionally, these services improve MA members’ satisfaction with their plans. Both insurance carriers and the CMS saw the need for radical change to increase patient satisfaction and improve patient outcomes.
Americans face difficult paths to recovery after serious illnesses or injuries. With the mobility of the American family, many older Americans or those with disabilities live without family support and with fewer social networks. Adding home care services can help seniors remain home longer, decrease the risk of rehospitalization and prevent or delay a move to assisted living or nursing homes.
To discuss the benefits your plan offers, contact us today.