The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 is a bipartisan bill that seeks to add additional home health benefits for SNF-eligible Medicare patients.
Here’s how the American Bar Association (ABA) describes it: “If enacted, the Act would permit eligible Medicare beneficiaries to opt in to receive home-based extended care after a qualifying hospital discharge. Post-acute Medicare beneficiaries will be able to choose between post-acute Skilled Nursing Facility care or up to 30 days of expanded skilled and at-home services under the Choose Home Care Act’s add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health post-discharge benefit.”
The bill was first introduced in the Senate in July (S.2562). According to Home Health News, it was introduced in the House of Representatives in early October (H.R.5514) and has wide bipartisan and industry support. A January 4, 2022 review of 2021 legislation from HomeCare Magazine notes that S.2562 is currently in the Senate Finance committee and H.R. 5514 was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
Leaders in the home health industry are excited about the bill and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has put out a call for stakeholders to contact their representatives in Congress. On January 10, 2022, the The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) issued a press release which included NAHC, “urging lawmakers in Congress to advance the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 in the year ahead in order to improve access to home healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries following hospitalization.”
On the flip side, the bill is a concern for some in the long-term care industry, since the potential shift in post-acute care would have a big impact there.
Regardless of perspective, healthcare providers and marketers may benefit from the results of a Morning Consult consumer survey about the Act, which offer insights into the types of things patients and families want and need when it comes to post-acute care.
How Consumers Responded
While the survey results made it clear that home-based care after hospital discharge is preferred by the majority of participants, responses to individual questions revealed additional insights.
For instance, “Two thirds of Medicare beneficiaries (66%) say they are not familiar with the Medicare benefit to receive short-term care in a nursing home care setting or at home after hospitalization.”
A result like that demonstrates a great opportunity to engage with prospects who are Medicare beneficiaries by providing education that may include topics such as what they might expect after being discharged from the hospital, options for care, and what services your facility or agency offers.
Additional gems include responses related to patient choice; desired services; the care environment; and potential target audiences for messaging efforts.
- “Nine in ten adults (90%) say it is important to them personally to have the ability to choose the setting in which they or a loved one recover post-hospitalization…”
- “Nearly all adults over age 65 (97%) say it is important to have choice in the setting where they or a loved one recover post-hospitalization…”
- “Nearly all Medicare beneficiaries (97%) and caretakers for an adult over age 65 (96%) say it is important to them personally to have the ability to choose the setting in which they or a loved one recover post hospitalization.”
- “Half or more adults say they or a loved one would feel most comfortable to recover at home if they received nursing services at home and have access to nurses for questions (58%) and have access to a doctor in the event of an emergency (53%).”
- “Among Medicare beneficiaries, three quarters (73%) say they or a loved one would feel most comfortable to recover at home if they received nursing services at home and have access to nurses for questions, while about three in five (63%) say having access to a doctor in the event of an emergency.”
- “Adults are most likely to say the message most likely to increase their support [for the bill] is ‘with at-home health care, Medicare beneficiaries can recover in an environment that is safe, comfortable, and familiar’” (83%).”
- “More women (71%) than men (64%) say the Medicare post-hospitalization benefit can be safely provided at home.”
- “Over nine in ten adults with an income of $50-100k (95%) say the ability to choose is important to them personally.”
Results like these underscore the importance of relevant messaging in your marketing efforts that demonstrate your understanding of what patients and their families want and need—and how your organization can uniquely provide it.
And if you need further support, AMG Healthcare Marketing can provide the expertise needed to help you optimize your results. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your healthcare marketing strategy.