Potential Effects of Shifting the Home Health Benefit From Part A to Part B

HRD-88-79: Published: Mar 25, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the potential consequences of proposed legislation which would shift Medicare's home health benefit for most beneficiaries from part A, which covers inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility services, hospice services, and home health care services, to part B, which covers physician and other outpatient services.

GAO found that the proposed legislation would: (1) transfer payment for home health care services to part B, unless a beneficiary belonged only to part A; (2) not change the coverage of, payment method for, or administration of home health services; (3) help to maintain the solvency of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund; and (4) change the home health care financing source from Social Security payroll taxes to beneficiary premiums and general revenues.

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