NAHC Highlights End-of-Year Priorities for Home Care & Hospice
October 29, 2015 02:56 PM
Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), asked NAHC’s experts to provide their “wish lists” of legislative, regulatory, and legal priorities for home care and hospice, as the end of the year approaches.
William Dombi, Vice President for Law at NAHC, said his priority list contains executive, judicial, and congressional items. NAHC still waits on a decision in its face-to-face lawsuit, in which NAHC has challenged the legality of the narrative requirement. While the narrative requirement has gone away, NAHC still pursues the lawsuit in order to resolve retroactive claim denials, which are estimated to amount to $200-$300 million. Dombi said the lawsuit also sends a “strong message” to Medicare that it does not have the power to set a “wholly separate condition for payment.” NAHC also awaits then Supreme Court’s decision about whether to consider the take up the case against the Department of Labor regarding the companionship exemption.
Dombi’s regulatory list included the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services eliminating case-mix creep from the proposed regulation, and backing away from the value-based purchasing penalties. The final rule is supposed to be released soon.
Katie Wehri, hospice expert for NAHC, said of the biggest current issues for hospice is implementation of payment reform, and she would like to see a possible delay on the Medicaid side because states are not yet prepared.
On the legislative side, Dombi stated getting rid of the homebound requirement remains a top priority. Other legislative priorities mentioned by Jeff Kincheloe, Vice President for Government Affairs at NAHC, included putting to rest the notion of a copay, legislation to reform the face-to-face requirement, and reforming chronic care management. Richard Brennan, Vice President for Technology Policy at NAHC, said he would like to see Congress pass legislation to permit non-physician practitioners to certify Medicare home health plans of care, as well as legislation addressing telehealth—such as including coverage for remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management.
Please use NAHC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your members of Congress about these important priorities.