William Dombi headhot

The 5% cut to home health pay recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission does not consider all the costs of care operation and does not include home health agencies that are integrated into health systems, according to William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

MedPAC is looking only at fee-for-service rates when making its draft recommendations for Congress for 2022, he said when MedPAC met last week, according to Inside Health Policy.

“The reality is that Medicare margins for HHAs vary widely and the average home health agency margin has been and will be for the foreseeable future in the low single digits,” Dombi reportedly said. “At that level, providers barely meet their cash flow needs. If the MedPAC recommendation were to be enacted, there is no doubt that home health care access will be significantly reduced and Medicare overall costs will rise exponentially.”

MedPAC Commissioner David Grabowski, Ph.D., however, said he supports the recommended cut. Although home health is the future of post-acute care, he said, current Medicare margins were almost 16% in 2019, making it difficult to argue against the change.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's Senior Living