Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health, has been taking a prominent role in the home care industry’s efforts to convince the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to defer Medicare reimbursement cuts for home care services, which are due to start in 2023.
On a recent trip to Washington, DC, Savitt met with Congressmembers Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) and Paul Tonko (D-Capital Region), both members of New York’s Congressional delegation, as well as key staff from Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office and the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
Citing VNS Health’s experience, Savitt pointed out that the cuts will have a devastating impact on the home care industry’s ability to provide help to seniors and people with disabilities, by making it even harder than it is now to recruit and retain nurses and other frontline staff. Fewer patients will receive needed home care and hospital capacity will be further strained with delayed discharges, with already underserved communities suffering the most. For this reason, Savitt requested that Congress delay the cuts by one year and require greater rate-making transparency from CMS in their end-of-year legislative package.
Savitt also recently published an online column highlighting the impact of the cuts on an already over-burdened home care system. “Entire communities across the country are now becoming ‘home deserts’—areas where virtually no home care is available,” he wrote. “These are communities already starved of health services—usually Black, Brown, and rural communities, where health disparities continue to rise.” Savitt went on to note that this “is a growing crisis,” and that with the planned Medicare cuts, “it’s about to get much worse.”
VNS Health’s advocacy efforts to defer Medicare reimbursement cuts have extended to its frontline staff as well, 600 of whom have emailed their members of Congress, urging them to act.