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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2462, 7/8/2014
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NAHC/HAA Submit Comments on FY2015 Proposed Hospice Payment Rule
Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Urges Senators to Support the Medicare Protection Act
For Your Information: CMS Announces its Next Open Door Forum for Home Health, Hospice and DME
NAHC/Home Care & Hospice Events
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NAHC/HAA Submit Comments on FY2015 Proposed Hospice Payment Rule

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) Hospice Association of America (HAA) has submitted detailed comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the May 2 release of a proposed rule to govern the FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements and Process and Appeals for Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice.  The NAHC/HAA comments, focusing on several areas of particular interest and concern, are summarized below. 

CMS’ request for comments on definitions of “terminal illness” and “related conditions” that could be considered in future rulemaking.  NAHC/HAA expressed concern over CMS’ interest in establishing a new definition for “terminal illness” and for codifying a definition for “related conditions”.  While CMS’ proposed definition of “terminal illness” is a thoughtful one, NAHC/HAA were unclear as to whether a new definition is warranted at this time.  NAHC/HAA cautioned that in hospice care, each patient must be viewed individually, with full consideration given to the individual patient’s medical and social history. NAHC/HAA also raised concerns that movement toward any definition (whether for “terminal illness” or “related conditions”) that does not maintain a hospice patient’s right to care outside of the hospice benefit for conditions unrelated to the terminal condition would be a dereliction of duty on the part of CMS.  NAHC/HAA took explicit issue with inclusion of “[conditions that] interact or potentially interact with terminal illness’ and/or which are contributory to the symptom burden of the terminally ill individual” as it is believed that inclusion of these phrases would imply that “related conditions” would, by definition, result in ALL of a patient’s conditions as being part of a hospice’s responsibility. 

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Leadership Council of Aging Organizations Urges Senators to Support the Medicare Protection Act

The Leadership Council on Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition made up of close to 70 organizations including NAHC that focus on helping older Americans, is urging Senators to support S. 2491, the Medicare Protection Act. Introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), S. 2491 would require a 60 vote threshold in the Senate to change or modify the Medicare program – for example to change the age of eligibility, modify Medicare to become a voucher program, cut Medicare payments, or impose home health copayments. 

Currently the Senate can use a special procedure known as “budget reconciliation”, requiring only a simple majority vote, to alter or modify Medicare.  Social Security is protected from this procedure; this bill would extend similar protection to Medicare.

S. 2491 currently has 20 cosponsors, and the LCAO letter urges others to support this legislation.

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NAHC and HHNA Invite Participation in a Free Teleconference
on July 11, 2014

Subject: What Do the Proposed Changes in the Face to Face Rule Means to You and Where Do We Go From Here?

Presented by: National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and the Home Health Nurses Association (HHNA). Faculty: Val J. Halamandaris, President; Elaine Stephens, Executive Vice President; Jeff Kincheloe, Vice President for Government Affairs; Bill Dombi, Vice President for Law; and Mary Carr, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.

Who may participate: All home care providers who register in advance with NAHC members and members of HHNA being given priority.

To reserve your place in line: Please send an email to Cheryl Lee  (  The first 500 people who send in an e-mail will participate.

Time of the conference:  Friday, July 11 at 2 pm EST.  The call in number is 1-800-289-0459.  The conference code will be emailed Friday morning prior to the call.

What other topics will be discussed? The names of the top ten nurses from whom which the Nurse of the Year will be selected; Details of the Preconference Being Offered at the NAHC Annual Meeting (October 19-22, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ): How to Give Referral Sources  the Service for which they are looking. An Overview of the 116 Educational Session being offered at the NAHC Annual meeting. New Benefits specifically for home health nurses being offered to NAHC and HHNA members.

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