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NAHC Report: Issue# 2474, 7/24/2014
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IMPACT Act Anticipated to See Floor Action Next Week in the House
NAHC and its Affiliates Send a Letter to CMS on the Hospice Cost Report
For Your Information: Voting Open through September 30 for Top Home Care & Hospice Nurse
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IMPACT Act Anticipated to See Floor Action Next Week in the House
NAHC sent letter of support to Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee leadership

Leaders in the House of Representatives are expected to bring the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 to the House Floor sometime next week for consideration. It has the support of a wide cross section of Medicare provider and consumer groups, and is likely to pass the House.

The IMPACT Act (H.R. 4994) has three main objectives with respect to post-acute care:

  1. Require post-acute care (PAC) providers to report standardized patient assessment data, data on quality measures, and data on resource use and other measures;
  2. Require the data to be interoperable to allow for its exchange among PAC and other providers to give them access to longitudinal information so as to facilitate coordinated care and improve Medicare beneficiary outcomes; and
  3. Modify PAC assessment instruments applicable to PAC providers for the submission of standardized patient assessment data on such providers and enable assessment data comparison across all such providers.

The IMPACT Act has nine bipartisan cosponsors in the House – including Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), as well as the Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). Similarly, there is an identical bill in the Senate with Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as the bill’s cosponsors.

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NAHC and its Affiliates Send a Letter to CMS on the Hospice Cost Report

NAHC and its affiliates the Home Care and Hospice Financial Manager’s Association (HHFMA) and the Hospice Association of America (HHA) recently sent a letter to Laurence Wilson, Director of the Chronic Care Policy Group for the Center for Medicare at CMS urging that CMS provide at least nine months from the date of the hospice report is released to implement its changes. 

The letter was sent at a time when representatives from the hospice industry are expecting the final version of the hospice cost report for freestanding hospices to come out, which CMS has not yet released. As time goes by, there is increasing concern that there won’t be sufficient implementation time between the final version becoming public and the effective date for affected hospices to be able to make all of the organizational changes they will need to in order to report accurate and updated information to CMS.

In its letter, NAHC, HHFMA and HAA state that:

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Voting Open through September 30 for Top Home Care & Hospice Nurse

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliate Home Healthcare Nurses Association (HHNA) recently announced the top 10 finalists for Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year. Now NAHC and HHNA invite their members, affiliated state associations, and the general public to visit NAHC’s website and vote for this year’s winner. The 2014 Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year will be announced at the NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition on October 19 - 22, 2014 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
When the meeting convenes, the top nurse and nine final contenders will come before NAHC members and get the recognition they deserve. “It is most appropriate that we make the effort to identify and celebrate the best among us, the nurses who distinguish themselves by the size of their hearts, by their professionalism, and by their work ethic,” said Andrea L. Devoti, RN, chairman of the NAHC board of directors. “Our focus is to highlight the impact that nurses make day in and day out in homes across the country, despite the challenges they face,” she explained. “And it’s time for the public to honor nurses and thank them for all they contribute,” added Elaine D. Stephens, RN, NAHC executive Vice President and current chairman of HHNA. “This is our chance to remind everyone how hard it is for nurses to do their vital work while facing senseless cuts in reimbursement.”
An expert committee chose 50 state winners, and narrowed them down to 10 top contenders, based on an essay about each nurse and thoughtful evaluation of their credentials. These 50 state nurses are featured in CARING online and will be invited to the NAHC Annual Meeting. Their registration fees will be waived, and they will be honored at a reception. The top 10 contenders will receive a $70 gift certificate from Hopkins Medical Products, now marking 70 years in business. The one who is chosen Home Care & Hospice Nurse of the Year will have their travel and hotel expenses paid, and receive a new Apple iPad along with a $140 gift certificate from Hopkins Medical Products.

The winner will also serve as a symbol of what nurses can do, and we need you to help pick this special nurse. To view the top 10 honorees, click here. Cast your vote for one of these 10 nurses who inspire us by their commitment to patients and love for their work.

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