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NAHC Report: Issue# 2512, 9/22/2014
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MedPAC Outlines Upcoming Report to Congress
Home Care, Hospice Community Urged To Ramp-Up Grassroots Advocacy As Election Day Approaches
For Your Information: CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Training October 7, 2014
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MedPAC Outlines Upcoming Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met on September 12, 2014 to go over its pending report to Congress regarding the impact of home health payment rebasing on beneficiary access to quality of care. This meeting was the second time MedPAC staff offered an outline of the direction of its report to Congress. That report was mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act changes that included the current rebasing of Medicare payment rates affecting home health agencies.

MedPAC staff presented several key points to the commissioners. These included a positive assessment of the value of home health, expressing that the home health benefit can be a useful tool for keeping beneficiaries out of the hospital. As we have seen frequently in the past, however, MedPAC staff also raised concerns about a history of fraud and abuse in home health. Staff explained that the home health industry had a history of tailoring their services to reflect Medicare payments and that the sector was marked with excessive overpayments brought on by "high" payment rates and unnecessary utilization.

The MedPAC staff also outlined that the supply of home health services has increased over the years despite payment adjustments in the past. They noted that there has been an increase the supply of urban located home health agencies with a slight reduction in the number of agencies located in rural areas. Staff also noted that quality of care continues to show improvement despite payment reductions that occurred over the past 10 years. It is the staffs' opinion that any reduction in the utilization of home health services is not related to payment rate changes, but rather efforts to combat fraud, such as the moratorium on new home health agencies and new regulatory requirement such as the face-to-face encounter rule.

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Home Care, Hospice Community Urged To Ramp-Up Grassroots Advocacy As Election Day Approaches
NAHC members encouraged to contact their lawmakers to protect and improve access to home care and hospice during Congressional Recess leading up to the November Elections

Members of Congress departed Washington, DC las Friday for an election recess until November 12 when they are scheduled to return for a “lame duck” session to wrap up this session of Congress. NAHC is urging home care and hospice advocates to contact those who are running for Congress back in the state and districts over the election recess to raise home care and hospice concerns and ask for support. For a list of suggested grassroots action steps over the recess, see NAHC Report, August 1, 2014.

The following are issues that home care and hospice advocates may wish to raise with their Members of Congress over the recess, along with NAHC Legislative Action Network links that provide background information, talking points, and sample messages on each issue:

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CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Training October 7, 2014

CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Training will be conducted on October 7, 2014 via webinar.

This training will be offered one time and is designed for “Conditionally Approved” survey vendors who must attend this training. There are no fees associated with this training. More details regarding agenda topics will be posted closer to the training date.

Hospice providers interested in attending the CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Training, should submit a request for a Registration Form via the CAHPS Hospice Survey Technical Assistance email (

Registered Nurses and Hospice Staff

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, is looking for experienced, supportive Registered Nurses and hospice staff.

In keeping with our commitment to providing compassionate and continuum care at every stage of life, we are opening Renown’s first-ever hospice program and we're looking for experienced RNs and hospice staff with at least two years of prior hospice experience.

Renown Health is northern Nevada’s largest integrated health network and a nationally recognized healthcare leader. Based in Reno, Renown serves a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. The Reno-Tahoe region holds a range of lifestyle options that spans from downtown Reno to the shores of Lake Tahoe. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to explore the natural beauty of our region. Experience as much or as little as you want as you thrive in our small-town feel and friendliness and all the financial benefits that come from a state with no state income tax.

Learn more at: or contact Anne Larson, Recruiter, at 775-982-6306. EEO/M/F/V/D


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