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Home visits for seniors provide needed service: Your Say

Published by USA Today
Dr. Steve Landers
December 7, 2014

Home care and house calls are win-win solutions to address rising Medicare costs and to help over 70 million Baby Boomers successfully age in place in the comfort and dignity of their homes. USA TODAY's article "Medicare house calls, fraud on rise" missed the chance to inform the public about this critical opportunity to help America's seniors. Instead, it focused on a worrisome but narrow issue of aberrant billing for physician home visits in Michigan.

This may have the unintended consequence of stifling the expansion of home care at just the wrong time. Fraud is a concern with Medicare, but implying that home visits contribute more to fraud than other services is misleading, especially when they represent such a small portion of overall spending.

Potential cost savings and improved patient outcomes can be attained through expanding certain types of home care. There are also the common sense benefits and humanistic aspects of home visits that are deeply understood by patients and family members, but seemingly missed in your article.

We have a chance to help older Americans have unprecedented dignity and independence at reasonable costs by improving and expanding value-oriented home care models.

Steven Landers, president & CEO Visiting Nurse Association Health Group; Red Bank, N.J.

See the original article here.