More Representatives Co-Sign Letter to CMS to Prevent Payment Cuts and Unsustainable Value Based Purchasing Penalty Percentage
August 12, 2015 08:19 AM
Momentum continues to build in the ongoing effort to encourage members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign the letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent the proposed home health case mix cut and the proposed Home Health Value Based Purchasing (HHVBP) penalty percentage. The letter is being circulated to House members by Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR-2), Tom Price (R-GA-6), James P. McGovern (D-MA-2), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) (see previous NAHC Report article here). Most recently, four additional members have agreed to co-sign the letter, bringing the current total number of co-signers to eight. The four addition members are Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-9), Charles W. Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA-3), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL-20), and Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-LA-5).
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is encouraging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign the letter. Please use NAHC’s Legislation Action Center (available here) to encourage your Representative to sign the letter today. The deadline for Representatives to sign the letter is September 2.
The letter addresses concerns about the proposed home health case mix cut and the proposed HHVBP penalty percentage that were included in the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) proposed rule for 2016 issued by CMS in July. Following are details regarding the concerning CMS proposals:
Case Mix Cut: the draft HHPPS rule proposes to cut home health payment rates by an additional 1.72 percent in 2016 and again in 2017. This proposed “case mix” reduction is a concern because it appears to be based on a 2000-2010 case mix weight change analysis, not the changes in the condition of beneficiaries during the 2012 to 2014 period.
Home Health Value-Based Purchasing: the draft rule proposes a HHVBP program that would impose an incentive/penalty range of as much as 5 to 8 percent over a 5-year period. The aggressive nature in which the Secretary intends to ramp up HHVBP is concerning.
The House letter urges CMS to “reconsider its proposed case mix cut until it evaluates the specific causes of case mix weight changes from 2012 to 2014 and consider a more reasonable implementation schedule for the proposed withhold amount in the HHVBP program.”
With the help of home health advocates, the Representatives intend to recruit other lawmakers to sign the letter to CMS, which is scheduled to be sent in September. Both the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter and the proposed letter to CMS are available here.