The delivery of home health services in rural areas is significantly more costly because of the extra travel time to cover long distances between patients, higher transportation expenses, and other factors unique to rural service delivery. Home health agencies in rural areas are often smaller than urban agencies with fixed costs that must be spread over fewer patients and fewer visits.
Failure to extend the rural add-on payment will put more pressure on rural home health agencies that are already operating on very narrow margins and could force some of these agencies to close. Many home health agencies operating in rural areas in our state are the only home health providers in large geographic areas. If any of these agencies are forced to close, the Medicare patients in that region could lose all their access to home care.
The home health rural add-on payment was instituted by Congress to mitigate the financial pressures on rural home health agencies and the related access barriers encountered by rural residents. Please support efforts to extend the rural add-on. Read More.