Monday, June 29, 2020
The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) has released an issue brief on Medicare and Family Caregivers. "This Issue Brief examines the role Medicare currently plays, and could play, in assisting
beneficiaries and their family caregivers." The issue brief covers Medicare law, the need for coverage, issues with receiving Medicare home health care services, problems with access to coverage, the limited number of aides, and more. The Brief also discusses Medicare Advantage and in-home services.
CMA makes theses recommendations
- Ensure the scope of current allowable home health benefits, generally, and home health aides, specifically, are actually provided. Simply put, ensure that current law is followed;
2. Create a new stand-alone home health aide benefit that would provide coverage without the current skilled care or homebound requirements, using Medicare’s existing infrastructure as the vehicle for the new coverage; and
3. Identify other opportunities for further exploration within and without the Medicare program, including additional Medicare revisions, demonstrations, and initiatives overseen by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).
After providing some actual examples, the Brief provides insights into other additions to Medicare that would provide more services to beneficiaries. The conclusion provides that "Medicare home health coverage is not being implemented to the full extent of the law. If it were,
countless beneficiaries and families would be better off. Nonetheless, at best, the current Medicare benefit leaves far too many patients and caregivers behind. In order to provide quality home-based
care for individuals, and support for their caregivers, significant changes are needed to the
Medicare program and the broader health insurance system." (citations omitted).