Living in rural areas can have great benefits for some, that may not be the case when it comes to getting consistent home care. A lot of rural seniors have ogistical issues when looking for services as well as economical disadvantiges that a lot of rural residents face. “Access to health care in rural areas has been a primary concern among both practitioners and legislators for several years now, with several initiatives related to the Affordable Care Act designed to improve rural access to health care. However, some recent decisions by CMS related to payments, as well as existing rules about which providers can order and approve home health services are actually threatening the very existence of home health services to an already underserved population.
Rural Home Health Care Facts
Unlike other health care specialties, home health care relies almost exclusively on Medicare for funding. In the majority of home health agencies, Medicare is the single largest payer. According to the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, there are more than 12 million Americans receiving some type of home care service; of those 12 million, 3.5 million rely exclusively on Medicare to pay for their home health services. The total expenditures for home heath by Medicare are close to $70 billion annually, and a significant portion of those expenditures is for patients living in rural or underserved areas.”
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