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Medicare Policies Are Inconsistent with Cost-Effective Aging-at-Home Strategies
Date:12/13/2012

tent/28/1/262.abstract">Health Affairs in 2009 underscored the potential saving from allowing people with disabilities to be treated in their home rather than in care facilities and nursing homes.  Over a ten-year period, the study determined that long-term care spending under Medicaid was cut by eight percent in states that had home and community-based care programs.  More importantly, states that relied on nursing homes and other care facilities had their long-term cost increase by almost nine percent.

Because of the considerable savings, several states are implementing community and home care programs. Tennessee recently adopted a program following states such as Oregon, Vermont, Arizona, and Texas. In October, New Jersey announced that CMS had granted their request to implement a home and community treatment plan for five years.

Furthermore, the vast majority of Americans age 50 or older say they want to remain in their homes as they age.

So clearly, CMS recognizes the financial and patient advantages to treating beneficiaries in their homes, but repeatedly fails to implement policies that assist Medicare patients in being cared for at home. Power wheelchairs are obviously a key component in helping seniors and physically disabled Medicare patients remain in their homes.

"There is obviously a contradiction in CMS policies," said Wilson. "States are being allowed to adopt home and community treatment programs, but Medicare patients continue to face new hurdles in receiving home medical equipment, such as power wheelchairs, that help them stay in their homes. We need smart and consistent healthcare polices." 

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers and manufacturers who serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility devices, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment a
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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