Almost Family, Inc. Testified Before U.S. Congress on How to Improve Post-Acute Care

Company President Steve Guenthner’s Testimony Highlighted By Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CEO and Chairman of the Board of Almost Family, Inc. William Yarmuth announced today that Steve Guenthner, President of the Company, testified yesterday, September 7, before the U.S. House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee on payment reforms in post-acute settings.

Following the Hearing, Mr. Yarmuth said, “We are honored Almost Family was selected by the Subcommittee to discuss the important role home healthcare will play in evolving patient care systems, including value-based purchasing models.  I am proud of the way Steve represented the Company and policy positions generally shared by the homecare industry.”

In his Committee Press Release on the Hearing, Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady highlighted portions of Guenthner’s testimony which stated, “Value-based purchasing is the natural next step in the evolution of patient-centric Medicare policy, especially when it rewards providers for patient-focused outcomes, balanced against the cost incurred to achieve those outcomes … We need to change the policy question from ‘how should we pay providers’ to ‘how we should care for patients.”

Mr. Yarmuth also said, “We are likewise pleased members of the Subcommittee as well as other witnesses are receptive to the need for regulatory relief for homecare.  Cong. Price (Ga.-6th) in particular, in his exchange with Steve, highlighted the need to further simplify the Face To Face physician certification requirement and settle the backlog of homecare claims denied under this provision and pending for administrative review.”

The Company also noted the exchange between Mr. Guenthner and Cong. Kind (Wi.-3rd), lead co-sponsor of value-based purchasing legislation with Chairman Brady, regarding the value of Accountable Care Organizations in demonstrating that increased use of low-cost services such as home health can lower total Medicare spending and improve quality.

Guenthner commented, “Payment systems that reward quality and better patient outcomes, coupled with improved program integrity controls, are the next step in development of patient-centered integrated care models.  We also continue to emphasize the need to address chronic illnesses as a part of managing both post-acute and total costs of care.  We thank the Subcommittee for the opportunity to present our views and for the good exchange of ideas with policymakers and among my co-panelists representing other sectors of the healthcare delivery system.  We were gratified to hear the overall recognition of the importance of homecare in post-acute reform.”

A video recording of the full testimony, the Press Release of Chairman Brady on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee, the written testimony submitted by Mr. Guenthner, and copies of a series of white papers submitted by Almost Family in response to requests for stakeholder comment can be found here.

About Almost Family, Inc.
Almost Family, Inc., (Nasdaq:AFAM) founded in 1976, is a leading regional provider of home health nursing services, with branch locations in Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, New York, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi and Alabama (in order of revenue significance).  Almost Family, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a Medicare-certified segment, a personal care segment and a healthcare innovations segment.  Almost Family operates over 240 home health branch locations in sixteen U.S. states.

Through its Imperium Health Management subsidiary, Almost Family is one of the nation’s leading managers of Accountable Care Organizations, with 17 ACOs and 170,000 lives currently under contract in ten U.S. states.  ACO’s seek to lower the total health care spend on a group of Traditional Medicare Beneficiaries for which they are accountable.  The ACO program provides financial incentives to physicians and other provider types to coordinate efforts to lower the total cost and improve the quality of health care for enrollees in the traditional Medicare program.


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