Proponents of the Affordable Care Act lauded its ability to provide health care that Americans can afford across a wide spectrum of medical services. Home health care was highlighted as one of the ten essential benefits. The effect of the ACA hasn’t quite lived up to the promise. Here is a snapshot of the Affordable Care Act and home health.
Good Intentions The ACA was designed to do three things:
Increase access to necessary care
Improve the quality of care
Make care more affordable for all
The challenge to the Affordable Care Act and home health is finding solutions that make all three of these things possible.
Medicare for home health care was reduced in 2015. This reduction was part of a four-year plan to bring lower costs under the ACA. The result, however, has been a neglect of sufficient funding for home health care agencies. With a lower budget, agencies cannot provide the amount or quality of service that would make home health a viable option. In addition, the institution of co-pays for home health recipients turns what was meant to be a more affordable option into a service that is less practical than nursing home care.
The proposed replacement plan doesn’t seem to prioritize making home health an affordable option. Access to funding is necessary to provide the quality of care home health patients need.