“New Federal rules will require home health agencies to do much more for patients,” by Judith Graham, Kaiser Health News

“Home health agencies will be required to become more responsive to patients and their caregivers under the first major overhaul of rules governing these organizations in almost 30 years. The federal regulations, published last month, specify the conditions under which 12,600 home health agencies can participate in Medicare and Medicaid, serving more than 5 million seniors and younger adults with disabilities through these government programs. They strengthen patients’ rights considerably and call for caregivers to be informed and engaged in plans for patients’ care. These are ‘real improvements,’ said Rhonda Richards, a senior legislative representative at AARP. Home health agencies also will be expected to coordinate all the services that patients receive and ensure that treatment regimens are explained clearly and in a timely fashion.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Loading more regulatory requirements on home health agencies before dealing with the fact that Medicaid pays them less than the cost of providing the care is folly.  You get what you pay for and Medicaid pays for “low cost care of uncertain quality.”

New Federal Rules Will Require Home Health Agencies to do Much More for Patients