What They’re Saying

• With Carol Raphael appointed as the first person from the home health industry to serve on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac), many may believe she will push for higher home health reimbursements. But it’s hard to tell, stated Modern Healthcare in a commentary. The publication quoted Raphael as saying: "I really want to learn as much as I can about the whole set of post-acute care issues. I do think it’s important that MedPAC have someone who understands the Medicare home care benefit and reimbursements…." Congress raised the number of MedPAC commissioners by two to 17, adding Raphael, president/CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. In response to the quote, Modern Healthcare stated: "Safe enough. Sounds like she’s learning politics quickly."

• The founder of the Delaware Valley Geriatric Society in Pennsylvania says home care is not only preferred by aging seniors, but it is a remedy for today’s large healthcare costs. Dr. Charles Ewing is a medical director for the non-profit Friends Life Care at Home, which provides home care services to 1,200 people. To become a member of Friends, a person must be 60 years old and in reasonably good health. Members pay about $6,000 in an entry fee, then about $290 a month thereafter, in return for home health services when needed. "There is enormous potential for reducing family financial burdens by arranging for round-the-clock individualized home health services that are assured for life despite changes in health status that could be catastrophic," Ewing said.