Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula To Cease Providing Home Health Care Services
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula officials on Tuesday announced that they are discontinuing the facility's home health care service, which provides in-home treatment to about 170 patients daily, the Monterey County Herald reports. Hospital officials said the program has been losing about $2.1 million per year, largely because of cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates. In 2002, CMS reduced payments for in-home services by 15%, and smaller reimbursement rate cuts were made in the past two years. About 80% of in-home service patients are Medicare beneficiaries. Home health services patients will have until Sept. 30 to find new providers, likely through the Central Coast Visiting Nurse Association and Choice Home Health Care, according to Cynthia Peck, the hospital's vice president. CHOMP will give displaced home-health nurses and therapists severance packages and help them find new jobs at the facility or elsewhere. Central Coast VNA President Carol Snow said she hopes to hire some of the displaced nurses to help meet the increase in demand for services that CHOMP's decision will create. Snow added that her agency "cannot compete with hospital salary and benefits" (Segal, Monterey County Herald, 7/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.