NAHC and the Forum of State Associations Urge Members to Participate in a March on the Capitol December 11, 2013
Home Care and Hospice Advocates Urged to Take Part In Person or Virtually
December 5, 2013 01:47 PM
NAHC is encouraging all of its members to join with other home care and hospice advocates next week for a March on the Capitol to highlight issues surrounding access to home care and hospice, including Medicare home health rebasing relief and protecting home care and hospice from further payment cuts and copays.
RSVP Today: To RSVP, please send an email to Mike Wittke of the NAHC staff firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no registration fee for this event; however, attendees need to register so that NAHC can coordinate activities and be prepared with enough food and drinks for attendees.
NAHC recently updated its Legislative Action Network (NAHC LAN) to reflect new developments - including CMS' issuing its Final Rule on Rebasing, budget negotiations, and efforts to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Even if you are unable to attend the March on the Capitol in person, you can participate virtually by sending a message to your Senators and Representatives urging them to:
1) Delay implementation of the rebasing rule and require CMS to reconsider the rule and set payment rates that ensure access to home health care services (Write Your Legislators), and
2) Reject any proposal to use home health (Write Your Legislators) or hospice (Write Your Legislators) payment cuts or copays as a means to offset the cost of fixing the Medicare physician payment formula, for deficit reduction, or other purposes.
Below, please find more details about next week's March on the Capitol:
What: NAHC and the Forum of State Associations have set the “March on the Capitol” for December 11, 2013, to coincide with the expected legislative action on the SGR or "Doc Fix" and next year’s budget.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, beginning at 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Where: The staging area for the “March on the Capitol” will be at the NAHC Frederick Douglass Museum located at 320 A Street, N.E., in Washington, DC (three blocks east of the Capitol).
Why Now?: NAHC seeks to secure improvements in the recently issued Medicare rebased rates and to ensure that the Medicare home health benefit is exempted from any further cuts. Two major pieces of legislation will come before the Congress in what is expected to be the last days in which they will be in session in 2013.
For more information, please see November 13, 2013’s NAHC Report.
1) The Members of a Special House-Senate Budget Committee have until Friday, December 13 to report their recommended budget for 2014. NAHC seeks to make sure that neither across the board cuts nor copayments is included.
2) The Senate Finance Committee will be marking up the SGR extension or so-called “Doc Fix” whose purpose is to rescue Medicare participating physicians from about a 20 percent cut in their fees. This presents the home health community with the opportunity to secure congressional support for a rescission, improvement, or delay of the Medicare rate rule. In addition, home care must ensure that Congress does not look to home health or hospice for the offsetting revenues to make up for the cost of a permanent or short-term “doc fix.”
3) On November 22, CMS released their final “rebasing” rule updating the Medicare prospective payment system rate. NAHC’s position is that home care has already taken disproportionate cuts and should be exempted from any payment cuts, copayments or deductibles. NAHC and its allies are seeking relief directly from the House and Senate from the onerous and unwarranted rate rebasing regulation which may force more than half of all Medicare providers out of business by the end of 2017.
The Agenda: The March will begin with a briefing from NAHC staff and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who has been NAHC’s top Democratic advocate. The breakfast is also a fundraiser with the suggested donation of $500 per person or $1,000 per PAC, but anyone who contributes any amount will be welcome to join the event that will be held at NAHC’s Frederick Douglass Museum located at 320 A Street, N.E., in Washington, DC. Following the briefing, participants will fan out on Capitol Hill making NAHC’s case to key members of Congress.
In the evening of Wednesday, December 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. those who can do so are welcome to join in the celebration of the birthday party for Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who has been without peer as an advocate for home care and hospice. This too, is a fundraiser and a “thank you” party but the same rules apply as in the Stabenow event relating to contributions. The Collins event will be held at 500 North Capitol Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC.
Questions: Send an email to Mike Wittke or call 202-547-7424.