Action Alert: Contact Your Members of Congress to Cosponsor the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015
July 22, 2015 12:51 PM
Currently, 34 members of the U.S. Senate and 126 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have indicated their support for the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 578/H.R. 1342). Most recently, on July 13 eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives joined the bill as cosponsors.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is continuing to visit members of the Senate to build support, including meetings this week with the offices of Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Rand Paul (R-KY), and John McCain (R-AZ). Last week, NAHC’s government affairs staff met with the offices of Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Tom Cotton (R-AR).
NAHC in coordination with other organizations supporting the bill continues to pursue the goal of 40 cosponsors for the Senate bill and as many as possible for the House bill. NAHC is working with key champions in Congress to receive a Congressional Budget Office score of the legislation and technical assistance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services so that the bill can move forward in the Committee process. More Congressional cosponsors would increase the likelihood of the bill being included in a future Committee markup so NAHC has set the attainable goal of 40 supporters in the Senate.
Please click here to see if your Senators have cosponsored the bill and click here to see if your Representative has done so. If any of your members of Congress have not yet cosponsored the bill, please use NAHC’s Legislative Action Center to contact them to cosponsor the bill right away.Thank you to everyone who has contacted their members of Congress so far to build support for this important bill.
Summary of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 578/H.R. 1342)
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are currently authorized to work in states either independently or in coordination with physicians to treat, diagnose, and prescribe medicine. However, they are unable to order home health care services.
The fact that non-physician health professionals are unable to certify home health services is increasingly a problem because more and more people are receiving home-based care from non-physician health professionals. As a result, patients face the burden of first visiting an unknown physician in order to receive home health care.
NAHC strongly supports this legislation, which will reduce expensive hospitalizations and nursing home stays. “Outside experts assessed the impact of the bill earlier last year and projected a Medicare savings of $7.1 million in 2015 and up to a ten-year savings of $252.6 million,” stated a letter in support of the legislation from leading senior and disability advocacy groups including NAHC. “This analysis also notes the potential to reduce beneficiary admissions to and lengths of stay in institutional settings under the policy change.”
Previous reports on the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act are available here and here. NAHC Report will continue to provide updates regarding the status of this legislation.