New analyses completed by Avalere Health and Dobson DaVanzo & Associates released by the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare find that the majority of Medicare home health beneficiaries and caregivers, both skilled and informal, are women and that Medicare home health beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable of all Medicare beneficiaries.
The newly-released data show more than 60 percent of Medicare home health beneficiaries are women. An estimated 90 percent of registered nurses, occupational therapists, and home health aides – professionals that are commonly employed by home health agencies – are women, as well. Avalere Health analysis also reveals that the Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health services are older, poorer, sicker and more likely to be minorities than the rest of the Medicare beneficiary population. A summary of the findings is below:
Avalere Home Health Beneficiary Study: Key Findings
Home Health Beneficiaries
|Beneficiaries aged 85+||24.4%||12.1%|
|Beneficiaries with 4+ chronic conditions||74.7%||48.5%|
|Beneficiaries needing assistance with 2+ Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)||23.5%||7.6%|
|Beneficiaries at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)||66.2%||47.9%|
|Beneficiaries from ethnic or racial minority population||19.3%||14.9%|
|Dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries||26.7%||17.7%|
“These data underscore that the deep cut to Medicare home health resulting from the Affordable Care Act poses a disproportionate risk to women and vulnerable seniors,” stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership. “According to Administration estimates, ‘approximately 40 percent’ of all home health agencies will experience net losses as a result of the Obamacare home health cut. As demonstrated by these data, the cut’s impact will be most felt by the women – who primarily staff home health agencies – and the vulnerable, female and minority patients they serve.”
The Medicare home health benefit on which 3.5 million seniors depend is being subjected to a 14 percent cut in funding, due to the imposition of a four-year, 3.5 percent per year rebasing adjustment implemented by the Obama Administration on January 1 using discretionary authority granted by the Affordable Care Act. According to the Administration, the Obamacare cut will cause “approximately 40 percent” of all home health providers to operate at a loss by 2017. The cut was opposed by seniors advocates, hospitals, home health and other providers, and small business experts due to the threat it poses to low-cost, high quality home healthcare.
To read the Avalere Health Medicare home health beneficiary analysis report, click here.