The Final Rule for 2016 is pretty much what we expected. From the continued cuts and the introduction of Value Based Purchasing, CMS continues to punish home health. While CMS isn’t totally at fault, the blame can be shared with the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, which requires CMS to implement these cuts and act like Robin Hood.
Year after year, we continue to see the devastating effects ObamaCare has on home health and healthcare in general. Agencies can no longer sit back and hope for the best. 2016 is going to be the deciding year for many struggling agencies. Will they continue or decide to close?
We hope that many decide to continue and not give up on their investment or original purpose of providing quality care to local residents. But we also hope that many agencies seriously look at their operating model and analyze their overhead and staffing model. Agencies that continue to succeed have reduced overhead and are focused more on clinical excellence.
For agencies in the 9 states that will become lab rats for the likely future reimbursement model for all home health agencies, quality is a must. You will be compared, ranked and played like a chess game against your competition. Starting in 2018, you will be losing at a minimum of 3% per year, with the loss increasing every year after that. For most agencies, this reduction will mean a complete operating loss and negative profit margins. You can’t be one of those agencies.
Start now, don’t wait. Review your structure – your operating model. Who is in your office that could be phased out or possibly replaced with outsourced services? Can your clinical teams be realigned to promote more efficiency while providing and focusing on better care? This can happen and it is easy to do if you want it to happen. Call us or email us to learn more of how we can help you make this happen and prepare your agency to face 2016 and beyond!