With the start of any new year, it’s expected that things will change over the course of the next 12 months. The home care industry is no exception. Thanks to technology, changing policies, and the growing need for in-home personal care, the home care industry has changed quite a bit throughout recent years. Take a look at additional changes we expect to take place in 2020 and beyond!
Changes to Medicare Advantage Coverage
Over the course of the last 10 or so years, big policy changes have taken place that stand to impact the home care industry, and it seems some important pieces are coming together at once. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 aims to move Medicare away from fee-for-service models and toward value-based care.
What does this mean for the home health agency and the people it serves?
Most recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made rule changes aimed at bringing home care into the Medicare Advantage (MA) fold. The first change, announced in 2018 for 2019, reinterpreted the standards for health-related supplemental benefits to include additional services “that increase health and improve quality of life, including coverage of non-skilled, in-home supports.”
The second, announced in 2019 for 2020, expanded the definition of supplemental benefits to include any services that “address social determinants of health for people with chronic disease.” This will open a wide door for home care services to be considered for coverage under MA, which could give the industry a big boost while benefiting patients receiving care in their homes.
Shifting Focus Toward Proactive Care
The US health care system is moving away from treating people only when they’re sick, and instead focusing on proactively keeping them well. This is an encouraging and highly beneficial shift that stands to benefit many, many people.
For the home care industry, we aim to support this same mission – keeping people safe and well in their homes. By providing non-medical care, specifically around household activities, mobility and self-care, the home care industry and personal caregivers will play a large role in the shift toward proactive care.
More Support for People Aging In-Home
A May 2019 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated a hypothetical incremental cost savings of $4 billion in Medicare spending if community-living adults 65 or older with disabilities received non-medical care, specifically around household activities, mobility and self-care.
This is an incredible cost savings that will also help to produce the best quality of life for individuals wishing to age in their own homes for as long as possible. And the home care industry makes this possible! As more and more eyes are opened to the value of personal caregivers providing non-medical care, there will be an increase in demand for such services, meaning more jobs and industry growth.
Which of these changes do you think will have the greatest impact on the home care industry in 2020 and beyond? Do you have another prediction to share?
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