Industry Encourages Agencies to Participate in Vulnerable Patients’ Access to Care Survey

The Affordable Care Act mandated that a study on access to home health care for low-income beneficiaries, beneficiaries in underserved areas, and beneficiaries with certain chronic conditions be conducted. The study is expected to lead to changes in the case-mix system and payment methodology for home health services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contracted with L&M Policy Research to carry out the study.

In order to gather information needed to identify key challenges to providing care, a survey of physicians and home health agencies is currently being conducted. Earlier this month surveys were mailed to 1,075 home health agencies and 510 referring physicians by Social Scientific Systems (SSS) on behalf of L&M Policy Research. The goal of this survey is to give stakeholders in the home health industry – as well as physicians – an opportunity to describe challenges faced in serving vulnerable populations and to provide the research team with firsthand data on issues that affect access to care.

HCAF urges all home health agencies that receive a survey to complete it to ensure that home health agencies’ concerns and experiences in serving vulnerable populations are considered as L&M Policy Research examines ways to improve the payment system and address issues surrounding access to care.

Home health agencies can be assured that the information collected by SSS, on behalf of L&M, will be shared with CMS in aggregated form only to maintain the confidentiality of all survey respondents. Identifiers on the form, which are solely to allow SSS to follow-up with slow responders, will not be shared with CMS.

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