Key Issues Affecting Home Care and Hospice Highlighted in Opening General Session for March on Washington | Private Duty Integrated Conference and Exposition
March 18, 2013 12:45 PM
NAHC’s annual March on Washington | Private Duty Integrated Conference and Exposition got underway Sunday afternoon with a general session that highlighted the many issues that the home care and hospice community face, and why this year is so critical for the industry overall. With sequestration in effect for Medicare payments, proposals to add copayments to home care and hospice benefits, new employee mandates for private duty organizations and new health IT bills that could help or hurt the home care and hospice community, the opening session’s panel of experts from NAHC touched on regulatory, Medicare, Medicaid, health IT, home care, hospice and private duty issues that Congress and federal agencies are debating.
The first session’s panel included many of NAHC’s own legislative, legal and policy experts and offered a call to action as well as emphasizing the importance of participating in this year’s March on Washington. “Your being here is a huge sacrifice, but is invaluable,” said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. “Even for those who couldn’t come to DC, it’s important to get involved. Lobby in your home capital. Make it personal because this year can make or break us."
Mr. Halamandaris’ sentiment was shared by the panel – all of whom helped to outline in clear terms what is at stake for the home care and hospice community - and why it is so important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents who work in the home care and hospice fields. “Congress needs to be educated and you're the experts. Share your passion with The Hill," said Jeffrey Kincheloe, NAHC Vice President for Government Affairs.
Although the importance of getting involved was emphasized during the March on Washington | Private Duty Opening General Session, key issues affecting the industry were also discussed in detail. Among some of the most pertinent topics were the sequester, the debt ceiling, fraud and abuse, proposals for additional cuts or copays for home care and hospice services. And while there was no shortage of issues that the panel shared with attendees, there was also optimism for the future of home care and hospice based on the opportunities that are currently available. “This is the platinum age for home-based care,” said Bill Dombi, Esq., Vice President of Law for NAHC.
Joining Messrs. Halamandaris, Kincheloe and Dombi on the panel during the opening session of the 2013 March on Washington | Private Duty Integrated Conference and Exposition were Andrea Devoti, President of Neighborhood Health and Chairman of NAHC’s Board of Directors; Richard Brennan, NAHC’s Vice President of Technology Policy; Theresa Forster, NAHC’s Vice President for Hospice Policy and Programs; Mary St. Pierre, NAHC’s Vice President for Regulatory Affairs; Colin Roskey, NAHC Counsel and Mary Langowski, NAHC Counsel.
The opening general session was also being “live tweeted.” Attendees are encouraged to join the conversation via social media by using the #NAHC2013 hash-tag throughout this year’s March on Washington | Private Duty Integrated Conference and Exposition.