by Tim Rowan, Editor
In sharp contrast to the realistic forecasts offered by Home Health, Hospice, and Home Care CEOs, former CMS administrator Seema Verma injected a moment of optimism into this year's Home Care 100 meeting. It was a brief moment, followed by a stern warning.
Speaking both out of her experience in the previous administration and as a new member of Wellsky's board, Ms. Verma spoke positively about the growth of Medicare Advantage and the full implementation of Value-Based Purchasing. After four years heading up CMS for the previous administration, she sees the cost-cutting effects of managed care as a plus.
However, Ms. Verma delivered a second message, apparently still wearing her CMS hat. She made it clear during her on-stage interview with WellSky CEO Bill Miller that she still believes it is up to Home Health providers to prove they are cost-effective. "Unfortunately," she added, "the rules block representatives and regulators from considering the savings created in one healthcare sector by spending in another. It is a foolish policy, but that's the obstacle Home Health is stuck with."
Ms. Verma was kind enough to linger in the lobby area after her on-stage interview, chatting with Home Care 100 attendees who had lined up to meet her. A reporter asked her to elaborate on that "foolish" rule. "Home Health providers have been providing data to CMS and other payers for decades that shows they save more than they cost," the reporter began, and then followed with two questions. "If lawmakers and rule-makers are not permitted to consider the data Home Health presents, why do they keep asking for it, and why do they not know they already have it?"
"It really is a dumb rule," she said, and then quickly turned her attention to the next person in line.
©2022 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org