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NAHC Report: Issue# 2518, 9/30/2014
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Senators Johanns and Alexander and Rep. Walberg Lead Push to Suspend Department of Labor’s New Companionship Rule
Physician Payment for End of Life Discussions
For Your Information: Book Your Hotel Room for NAHC’s Annual Meeting
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Senators Johanns and Alexander and Rep. Walberg Lead Push to Suspend Department of Labor’s New Companionship Rule
Rule could dramatically increase home care costs to seniors and the disabled

Senators Mike Johanns (R- NE) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) were the originators of a Dear Colleague letter that urges the Department of Labor (DOL) to suspend a rule that could dramatically increase costs of non-medical, in-home personal care services, many of which are administered through Medicaid or other state programs. The rule, which would make changes to a long-standing exemption for these personal care services, is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.

Numerous stakeholders have expressed concern that implementation of this sweeping new regulation could disrupt care for seniors and those with disabilities. NAHC and its membership have been urging lawmakers to pressure the Department of Labor to suspend its new companionship rule, and NAHC’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Senate staff or the Department of Labor.

“At a time when approximately 76 million baby boomers are reaching retirement, the federal government has a compelling interest in containing the cost of long term services and supports and expanding the low-cost care options available to this aging demographic,” the Members wrote. “We are deeply troubled that this rule runs contradictory to those goals.  Therefore, we urge you to suspend the rule and work with state agencies and other affected programs to prevent the cost of long term services and supports from soaring.

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Physician Payment for End of Life Discussions

A recent New York Times article, “Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground” by Pam Belluck on August 30, 2014 highlights end of life discussions between doctors and patients. The article identifies reasons why end of life discussions are gaining ground and why private insurers have begun paying physicians for these conversations. The article also highlights the fact that the American Medical Association (AMA) recently created current procedural terminology (CPT) codes “to report services related to advance directive plan discussions with patients,” and urged CMS to adopt these codes as part of the Medicare Physician Payment Schedule for 2015.

If Medicare adopts the change, its decision will also set the standard for private insurers, encouraging many more doctors to engage in these conversations.

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Book Your Hotel Room for NAHC’s Annual Meeting
Discount rates have expired but there are still rooms available at the regular rates

NAHC’s 2014 NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition is being held in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Phoenix Convention Center. If you still need to make a hotel reservation, click here to be redirected to our third party housing partner. This site will research all conference hotels and hotels in greater Phoenix to provide you with options over your travel dates.

If you have an existing reservation through the NAHC Housing Center, you can still make updates to your reservations by clicking here through October 2, 2014. After that time, you will need to contact your hotel directly to modify your reservation.

If you made your hotel reservations directly with the hotel before July 30, 2014, and need to update or change your information, please click here.

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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