Bipartisan Letter Seeking Postponement and Re-evaluation of Home Health Rebasing Rule Sent to House Leadership
February 5, 2014 04:10 PM
Earlier this week, Representatives Ralph Hall (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), David McKinley (R-WV) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging congressional action to postpone CMS’ Final Rule on home health rebasing and require that CMS re-evaluate the rule.
Citing previous Dear Colleague letters from last summer in both the House and the Senate, as well appeals from other stakeholders highlighting the widespread opposition to CMS’ rebasing rule, the letter states that, “urgent action is needed.”
The letter strongly reinforces the points that NAHC has been stressing since the beginning of the rebasing debate, namely that:
“If this rule is not postponed and appropriately evaluated, according to CMS projections almost half of the home health industry will be paid less than their costs. Current industry data shows that as many as 73% of home health agencies across the country could be out of business when the rule is fully implemented…
The Final Rule…clearly does not take into consideration the appeals made by the U.S. Congress and interested stakeholders. The Final Rule unnecessarily rebases payment rates at the maximum cut permitted under the Affordable Care Act: a cut of -3.5% per year over each of the next 4 years, totaling an unprecedented cut to Medicare home health funding of 14% by 2017…
Urgent action is needed as the Final Rule took effect January 1, 2014.
Home health plays an essential role in our health care system by serving the Medicare population with skilled nursing and habilitation services in the least costly setting – the home, and it is imperative that we protect access to care through informed and reasonable rulemaking.”
The letter included legislative language that would require a postponement and re-evaluation of the rule. NAHC and its state affiliate, the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice, are working with the authors of the letter to seek opportunities to offer this provision as an amendment to pending legislation to fix the flawed Medicare physician payment formula known as “SGR.”
For more on the SGR, please see NAHC Report , January 16, 2014. To read the full letter, please click here.
NAHC strongly urges all of its members to join with their peers and colleagues in Washington, DC for the March on Washington – March 23 – 26 – to make the case for rebasing relief, as well as opposing proposals to impose further payment cuts and copays to offset the cost of the SGR fix.
Please click here for more on NAHC’s March on Washington.