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LHC Group’s Keith Myers: To Fix the Medicare Advantage Problem, Cut Out the Middle Man

The difficulties in relationships between Medicare Benefit (MA) plans and the house well being care business have solely taken a short lived backseat as a result of U.S. Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers (CMS) proposed rule for the sector.

However nonetheless, it’s nonetheless one thing most suppliers are keen to – and desirous to – discuss.

And LHC Group Inc. CEO Keith Myers added a brand new and revealing layer to the dialog on Monday on the Nationwide Affiliation for Residence Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) Monetary Administration Convention in Las Vegas.

“I feel we’ve achieved a much more with managed care [because of our JVs with hospitals] and I’ve actually good relationships with executives,” Myers stated. “However I feel our largest downside are the conveners in the course of all of this.”

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group delivers residence well being, hospice and home- and community-based providers and facility-based care throughout 37 states and the District of Columbia. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) introduced it was planning to amass the corporate in March, although the deal remains to be pending.

MA plans are likely to pay far much less for residence well being providers when in comparison with fee-for-service Medicare. That is another excuse the proposed rule – and its potential cuts – have been met with a lot panic from the business.

Whereas different sectors don’t depend on fee-for-service Medicare as a lot – like hospitals – permitting them to take proposed cuts and roll with them, residence well being care doesn’t have two different secure legs of its proverbial stool.

As an illustration, MA plans typically pay as much as 40%-60% lower than fee-for-service Medicare. On the identical time, Medicaid is just not a terrific or regular payer supply for residence well being suppliers. Subsequently, and not using a sturdy fee-for-service setting, the entire chair falls over.

Residence well being suppliers have provided a bevy of potential options during the last two years to the MA challenge, together with refusing MA circumstances collectively to calling for extra authorities oversight. However Myers urged reducing out that center man could assist.

Broadly, conveners’ position in post-acute care is to prepare providers for payers, appearing because the intermediary between them and the suppliers they’ve contracted with. They’d definitely argue that they’re good for the business and act as an organizer, lifting up all boats.

However not all suppliers see it that means. In reality, one other high govt informed HHCN after that they agreed with Myers’ evaluation.

“They’re skimming cash off of the highest, which is a matter,” they stated.

On Myers finish, he didn’t appear to be totally taking the blame off of MA plans, both, whereas nonetheless acknowledging he’d wish to dispose of many of the convener work that LHC Group offers with.

“When plans aren’t wanting to have interaction … I imagine they could instantly hand us off to the convener, and so they’re form of there to guard the managed care [side],” Myers stated. “And I simply don’t assume that’s useful.”

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