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In-Home Health Agencies Fight Rate Pinch as Payment Switch Looms

April 2, 2019, 9:46 AM

The home health-care industry, which serves nearly 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, is once again trying to stop a recommended 5 percent cut to its Medicare base payment rate as it readies for a new payment system.

It’s the third straight year the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a key congressional panel, has called for a 5 percent rate cut, citing substantial overpayment for services. Although Congress hasn’t adopted the commission’s recommended rate cuts, the stakes are higher for the home care industry this year.

Profit on Medicare patients in 2019 will average 16 percent for freestanding home health agencies, the...

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