Senior Voters Express Concerns With Prior Authorization Proposal for Medicare Home Health, New National Poll Reveals

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Senior Health News J E 4
Majority of respondents favor candidates who support the Medicare home health benefit

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national poll of more than 2,000 registered voters over age 65 reveals that 56 percent of respondents are less likely to support a prior authorization demonstration for Medicare home health, knowing that doing so will impede timely delivery of healthcare to patients because physician ordered services will have to be reviewed and processed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before care can be initiated.

Furthermore, a majority of senior voters are less likely to support prior authorization for Medicare home health knowing that the demonstration could increase out-of-pocket patient costs as a result of repeat hospitalizations and may prevent a patient from returning home immediately following a hospitalization.

The prior authorization demonstration was also recently opposed by 116 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives due to concerns about the impact on patient access to timely care and the imposed costs to patients, providers and taxpayers alike.

"When provided information on prior authorization for home healthcare services, senior voters have warranted concerns about how a demonstration might affect their access to needed skilled care in the home following an inpatient stay," stated Keith Myers, Chairman of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. "Underscoring this is the fact that over one hundred lawmakers asked CMS to rescind the proposal. Our hope is that the Administration will heed the concerns of both voters and lawmakers."

Highlighting more general concerns, poll results show the majority of respondents (70 percent) are displeased with the way things are going in the U.S. and generally feel the country is on the wrong track, citing concerns with economic, security and senior's issues.

As senior voters go to cast their ballots this November, 36 percent said economic issues are top of mind, followed by security issues (17 percent) and senior's issues (16 percent).

Poll results also reveal that an overwhelming majority (86 percent) of senior voters favor Medicare coverage of skilled home healthcare services. Medicare currently covers these services, which are delivered in the patient preferred setting of the home and at a lower cost to Medicare than facility based settings. Eighty-eight percent of seniors who received or had a friend or someone else receive Medicare home health services reported a positive impression of the benefit.

"Our polling results clearly demonstrate that senior voters are an engaged constituency," continued Myers. "Protection of necessary healthcare services- like skilled care provided in the home- is a priority with mature voters as they anticipate long term care needs."

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


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Bring The Vote Home



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