Article Critique: Home Care Yields Medicare Bounty

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Health economics Pages: 7 (2415 words) Published: February 19, 2014

I choose this article because it is an important part in the health care system. People are switching the way they view healthcare. People would rather have someone come to them rather than driving to the hospital to get care. Many people believe that treating patients in their homes will be a lot cheaper than having patients go to the hospital. This switch could save billions of dollars. We need to look at different ways of saving money because the U.S. spends the biggest percentage of money on healthcare compared to all the other countries in the world. One way of saving money is to switch to home care but it has to be regulated properly otherwise companies will take advantage of the system costing us even more money.

This article is about how home care works in our health care system. It shows how different companies are using the Medicare system to their advantage. For example Amedisys inc. is a company who provides home care health care services. The Medicare program paid them $2200 for up to nine home visits. But then if they provided just one more visit to make it ten they would be paid an extra $2200. Well Amedisys Inc. wasn’t stupid about it and would try to provide the tenth visit so they could get paid the extra money. The percentage of visits prove it, nine visits were 2.88% and ten visits were 9.53%. But after congress terminated the Medicare payment when the 10th visits occur, Amedisys percentage of ten visits dropped 50%. When the percentage dropped by half it shows how Amedisy was taking advantage of the system and costing us more money. They denied any allegations of trying to get the extra visit so they could make more money.

I believe that we should have more people regulating how Medicare is paid out. Because people are making too much money off the system while others are losing large amounts of money on Medicare patients. We also all need to look at all companies that offer home care and check if there is any patterns that shouldn’t be occurring. I believe that no matter how hard we try we can’t ever truly correct any system of health care but there is a lot of room for improvement.

I believe that there could be some bias in this article against some home care providers. They don’t really give the companies the chance to fight back at the allegations. Which some of the allegations are true but we aren’t hearing the full story. 1. Do you believe that there is any way that we can regulate the home care Medicare pay system so that nobody takes advantage of it? 2. Do you believe that we will be saving money if we switch over to more home care? 3. What type of Medicare payment plan would be the fairest to everyone?

April 26, 2010
Home Care Yields Medicare Bounty

Home health care—treating sick patients in their homes rather than paying for costly hospitalizations—is the fastest growing area of the health-care industry, aimed at saving billions of dollars every year. But an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of Medicare payments to home health-care companies in recent years raises questions about whether some companies—including the sector's largest, Amedisys Inc.—are taking advantage of the Medicare reimbursement system. The results show that the number of in-home therapy visits tracks Medicare financial incentives.

Founded in 1982 by William Borne, a 52-year old registered nurse, Amedisys derives 90% of its revenue from Medicare reimbursements. As Medicare spending on home health surged over the past decade, the company has seen its sales skyrocket with revenue of $1.5 billion last year, up from $88 million in 2000. Among health-care stocks, Amedisys has been a star, soaring to $60 a share yesterday from less than $1 in 2000. Medicare reimbursements are determined in part by the number of at-home therapy visits each patient receives, with an extra fee kicking in as soon as a patient hits a certain number of visits. Between 2000 and 2007,...
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