Starting in 2019, agencies should expect more Medicare beneficiaries shift to Medicare advantage plans. CMS has released information that Medicare Advantage plans can now start to provide non-skilled services as an additional benefit. Therefore, personal care aides and homemakers – non-skilled services – can be ordered by a physician and paid for by Medicare.
Agencies who do not have PCA or home maker services available now should begin to plan and think about how this will work in 2019. While we don’t have all of the details available yet, this could be a differentiation factor that sets your agency apart should you be able to provide these services.
Current statistics show that one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Many agencies are also experiencing this change in revenue and payer mix as the move from traditional Medicare is slowly being eroded and the increase in Medicare Advantage revenue jumps.
Medicare Advantage plans are expected to embrace the new non-skilled component of services offered. CMS has signaled that not only will funding increase, the new benefit is likely to help add stability to the market as more patients begin to receive these services through their single benefit rather than through other options.