What the Government Shutdown Could Mean for the Home Care & Hospice Community
October 1, 2013 08:15 AM
With the House, Senate and White House unable to reach an agreement or compromise on funding for the Federal Government, a government shutdown now appears likely. Any potential shutdown would start at 12:00am on October 1, which is the start of the government’s new Fiscal Year.
Both the House and the Senate have passed Continuing Resolutions (CR) that would fund the government, though the CR in the House and the Senate differ greatly – with the House including measures to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year while the Senate’s version is a “clean” spending bill without any other provisions.
In the event of a government shutdown, the home health and hospice community likely will be minimally affected since Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs that are deemed “mandatory spending” and therefore not part of the government’s discretionary spending negotiations. At this point, it looks likely that Medicare payments to providers would continue unabated, yet slowdowns in payments are still possible depending on how CMS staff or contractors are affected.
In the event of a government shutdown, the Department of Health and Human Services will furlough over 50 percent of its workforce, which could have an affect on programs and services that aren’t mandatory, essential, or deemed to be top priorities.
To review HHS’ full contingency plan in the event of a shutdown, please click here.
NAHC will continue to monitor any and all developments carefully and will share relevant updates with its members through NAHC Report.