Update: House Sign-On Letter to CMS on Payment Cuts and Unsustainable Value Based Purchasing Penalty Percentage
August 20, 2015 10:02 AM
Since last week, seven additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed to co-sign the letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent the proposed home health case mix cut and Home Health Value Based Purchasing (HHVBP) penalty percentage. The seven additional members include: Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-9), Richard Hanna (R-NY-22), David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV-1), Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7), Luke Messer (R-IN-6), Devin Nunes (R-CA-22), and Mike Thompson (D-CA-5).
The current total number of members who have agreed to co-sign the letter is 15. 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). Other members who have signed the letter include: 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).Congratulations New Jersey, Oregon, Georgia, Massachusetts, Louisiana, New York, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California for getting one or more of your Representatives on the letter.
Please use NAHC’s Legislation Action Center (click here) to encourage your Representative to sign the letter today. The deadline to sign the House letter has been extended to September 15 since many health staffers are saying they will need to get final approval from their bosses after they return from recess on September 8.
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) plan to circulate a Senate sign on letter next week. NAHC Report will provide additional information about the Senate effort when it is available.
About the Letter:
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 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.”
Both the House ‘Dear Colleague’ letter and the proposed letter to CMS are available here.