NAHC Meets with Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee
September 24, 2013 09:40 AM
Representatives from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) - including Richard Brennan, NAHC’s Vice President for Technology Policy and Deputy Director of Government Affairs - recently attended a meeting honoring U.S. Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) for his service. Rep. Camp is the chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means, which has jurisdiction over Medicare. The meeting provided the opportunity to ask for his assistance in reversing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new rebasing rule.
NAHC has provided feedback to Congress that the imposed rule would gut 14 percent of the payments to home health care providers over the next four years. As Chairman of the important U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Way & Means, Congressman Camp is well positioned to consider a delay or reversal of the rule.
Mr. Brennan explained to Chairman Camp that if the proposed CMS rule stands, then 77 percent of the home health agencies in Michigan and 74 percent of the Medicare Certified home health agencies in his district will be at or below margin by 2017. Brennan continued that this coupled by a need to continue to improve the delivery of health care in home health through the use of technology will leave many agencies unable to innovate and participate in new models of health care delivery. Brennan asked if there was anything the chairman could do to reverse this unwelcome future for the agencies and the patients they serve.
Chairman Camp responded with word of affirmation for home health care. He stated that home is the place where seniors want to be and that home care is a cost effective and valuable service to provide to our seniors. He said that he understood that the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Labor to issue a final rule outlining significant changes to the longstanding regulations on the companionship services exemption will add further regulatory burdens to an already heavily regulated industry.
The meeting provided NAHC the opportunity to not only represent the interest of home care providers but also to determine that Congressional leaders, especially those in positions of influence, hold home care providers in high regard. Camp’s comments also reiterated that he is well informed of the complex regulatory environment in which home care providers operate and also understands that the benefit could be streamlined to encourage innovation and improvements to the service delivery model.