Home Care in Rural America

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Project completed:
February 2002
Several provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) have affected Medicare-covered home health care, including the interim payment system and the introduction of a prospective payment system for Medicare services. In two previous studies, Project HOPE examined the impact of the BBA on rural home health agencies (HHAs) and rural Medicare home care users. This third examination of rural home care links the two previous studies by profiling the types of HHAs providing services to rural beneficiaries. Using bivariate analyses, we examine the characteristics of agencies serving rural Medicare beneficiaries, including whether beneficiaries were served by an agency in their county. The results of this analysis will provide rural advocates and policymakers with the necessary information to monitor the impact of home health payment reforms and to ensure that access to care is not impaired.