The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
We all want to stay in our own homes, with as good a quality of life as possible, for as long as we can. Access to high-quality home health care is essential to meet that goal. A series of cuts to Medicare reimbursement for home health threatens the viability of many Massachusetts providers.
Nationwide, the home health industry has endured more than $72 billion in cuts over the past 10 years. The cuts impact our ability to invest in the future of health care, including telemonitoring technology, which improves care and prevents unnecessary, expensive hospital visits. Yet, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have gone ahead with another 3.5 percent cut per year for the next four years, despite receiving bipartisan pushback from 150 members of Congress.
At VNA Care Network Foundation, we work closely with our physician partners to ensure our patients do not endure unnecessary emergency room trips or avoidable hospital stays. Our communities recognize our value and support us to the best of their ability. Even with that support, we cannot continue to sustain these devastating cuts without being forced to limit services.
We are asking for help from Congress to roll back these cuts for one year, while we work together to address rising Medicare costs in a way that does not devastate the very health care delivery models we should be supporting. I urge the public to contact their congressional representative and ask them to support home health providers in your community.
Mary Ann O’Connor
President and CEO
VNA Care Network Foundation