The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will only be able to fund about 89% of Medicare costs over the next seven years, according to a new report from CMS. This is due to a combination of less tax revenue, higher payments to providers, an aging population.
While Medicare’s precarious position is nothing new, the report contained disturbing information about the future of home health, hospice, and other providers. According to the report: “over time, unless providers could alter their use of inputs to reduce their cost per service correspondingly, Medicare’s payments for health services would fall increasingly below providers’ costs.” If CMS’ analysis is correct, roughly 80% of home health agencies would have negative margins by 2040!
This report just reinforces what we’ve known for years; serious action is needed to ensure a prosperous future for our industry, and quality care for patients.