Cost-Effective Senior Health Care Under Threat?

Seniors and Healthcare

Home health care in West Virginia could be seriously under threat if government regulation currently under speculation, is accepted.  Over 50 percent of the region’s Medicare Home Health Agencies could very soon be put in the red which could result in a serious addition to patient health care expenditure for the elderly and frail.

But the good news is that there are some government officials who are fighting the proposal tooth and nail. According to an article in Market Watch, US Representative David McKinley has “publicly express[ed] his concern that changes to the home health prospective payment system (HHPPS) could seriously impact home healthcare in West Virginia, having ‘ruinous consequences for patients dependent on skilled home health services and the providers who serve them.’”

The proposal basically sets out further state aided financial reductions on the basis “that there has been only limited change in patient acuity in past years.”  This would be okay had the general situation not changed within the seniors community.  Apparently, health care providers are noticing that there are substantially more patients requiring care these days, and that they are sicker than in previous years.  Thus, increasing the prices for seniors is going to be very detrimental for that community, and, if they don’t receive the care they need, then the kind of situation that will likely arise will be one of them requiring further care at a higher cost.  Therefore, making these increases in price for seniors now, is probably not a financially-sound plan.  The seniors need to be taken care of properly and live out their years in dignity, but this proposal will probably achieve the opposite outcome.