Imagine retiring and reaching your golden years, only to be diagnosed with a chronic illness that leaves you dependent on home care services in order to continue living at home. Then imagine how you’d be able to afford such long-term care on a fixed income. As members of the home care industry who serve individuals like this day in and day out, this scenario is likely all too familiar. For older adults in need of long-term care services, like home care, Medicaid is a lifeline. On the flipside of that coin, in-home services are a lifeline for Medicaid, which would otherwise have to shell out for more expensive care in an assisted living facility or nursing home care setting.
The very existence of Medicaid is good news for millions of Americans who would otherwise struggle to afford the care they so desperately need. The bad news? Proposed cuts to Medicaid may make providing that care much more difficult.
The American Health Care Act, while consistently on shaky ground since its proposal earlier this year, could, if passed, complicate Medicaid coverage for seniors and thus reduce Medicaid payments to home care providers. The latest version of the act that was voted down proposed to slash Medicaid funding extensively over the next ten years. These cuts would force states to make tough choices, such as tightening eligibility for Medicaid, removing people who have coverage, cutting services or reducing Medicaid’s payments to service providers, including home care agencies, and more.
The proposed cuts to Medicaid in the AHCA would have accelerated over time, with most going into effect beginning in 2020, just as many boomers will likely begin to need home care services. Fortunately for both seniors and providers alike, the AHCA did not have the votes to pass as is in July. However, this does not necessarily mean that Medicaid is on stable ground. For the moment, the expansion of Medicaid coverage in 31 states and the District of Columbia seems safe, but in the current turbulent legislative state, it seems to be a case of wait and see.
As always, the home care software team at Arrow Solutions is dedicated to keeping a close eye on all healthcare regulations that may affect our clients and how our software system can better serve them. We are committed to keeping our system up to date with the latest developments within the industry to ensure that your agency runs smoothly at all times. Contact us today to learn more about our home care management system and find out how we can make sure your agency is functioning with the latest information at all times.