National Poll: Majority of Older Americans Oppose Government Interference with Health Care Services
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters over age 65 sponsored by Bring The Vote Home (BTVH) found that a large majority of U.S. seniors oppose a Medicare policy requiring a government contractor to approve claims for physician-prescribed home healthcare services, which are often recommended by doctors for elderly patients following hospitalization to ensure a smooth transition from the acute setting to the home. These results follow the recent implementation of a "pre-claim review" demonstration by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which will impose burdensome documentation requirements on home health agencies and on referring physicians that home health leaders warn could lead to care delays and increased healthcare costs.
The national poll, conducted by the polling and market research division of Morning Consult, found that American seniors do not favor government interference in healthcare and believe that healthcare costs will rise as a result.
The results also show 83 percent of U.S. seniors agree that a doctor should be able to prescribe medications and services they choose for their patients without the government interfering. Under the pre-claim review demonstration, doctors prescribing home healthcare must cooperate with home health agencies to provide a broad array of eligibility-related documentation and clinical support materials that are subjectively reviewed for completeness by government contractors. Other key findings of the recent BTVH poll include:
- Four-out-of-five (80%) of seniors think it is likely that requiring a government contractor to approve claims for Medicare home healthcare services will result in delayed care for patients in need of prompt care.
- 77% of seniors think requiring a government contractor to approve care will increase the cost of Medicare.
- 75% of seniors think requiring a government contractor to approve care will increase out-of- pocket costs.
- 76% of seniors most trust healthcare professionals (primary care physicians and nurses) to handle issues related to healthcare (compared to 6% trusting government).
"For the third month in a row, BTVH polling results reveal that when becoming educated on the topic of government approval of home health services, senior voters oppose policies that allow the government to interfere with physician decision-making," stated Colin Roskey, Executive Vice President of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. "Further, while CMS maintains that pre-claim review demonstration will reduce fraudulent Medicare claims in order to protect patients and the Medicare program, a majority of seniors did not agree that fraudulent claims will decrease as a result."
In fact, the poll results show less than half of surveyed seniors – 45 percent – believe that government contractor approval of home health services will result in a decrease in fraudulent home health claims.
"We hope CMS will heed the concerns of senior voters and press 'pause' on the pre-claim review demonstration," added Roskey. "Instead, we encourage collaboration between policy makers and healthcare stakeholders to develop policies that target fraud and abuse and streamline eligibility documentation standards for physicians and home health agencies."
Morning Consult conducted the national survey of 1,931 registered voters from July 29-30, 2016. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ±2%.
To view the National Seniors Poll Charts, click here.
Bring the Vote Home is a nationwide initiative that is surveying seniors on a wide range of issues while empowering them to engage fully in America's electoral process. To learn more, visit bringthevotehome.org.
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SOURCE Bring The Vote Home