Thursday, March 26, 2009

The right price for home health care

Editorial in yesterday's NY Times

Health care reformers have long advocated providing more care to patients in their own homes or communities instead of hospitals and nursing homes.

"So it is disturbing to learn that charges have risen well above reasonable levels in one segment of the home health care market — short-term care provided to Medicare beneficiaries after, or sometimes instead of, hospitalization. The problem is compounded by fraud."

The overpayment problem is exacerbated by fraud and manipulation. These included overstating a beneficiary’s condition to get an improperly high reimbursement, billing for patients who were not homebound, and making unnecessary visits.

Some of the worst abuses were in Texas and Florida.

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