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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2626, 3/19/2015
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MedPAC Issues FY2016 Hospice Recommendations, Provides Key Policy Commentary
House and Senate Committees Pass Budget Plans
For Your Information: NAHC’s Legislative Hotsheets Now Available
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MedPAC Issues FY2016 Hospice Recommendations, Provides Key Policy Commentary

Annually the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) issues a Report to Congress in March that contains a series of recommendations on payment policy changes it advises for the forthcoming payment year.  As part of the 2015 Report’s chapter on Hospice Services, the Commission examines adequacy of current hospice payments, provides a wealth of updated statistics on benefit utilization, and advocates for payment and policy changes based on its findings. 

For 2015, MedPAC projects an aggregate Medicare margin for hospices of 6.6 percent.  This statistic was arrived at by taking into consideration the following factors:

  • The 2012 margin estimate;
  • Market basket updates of 2.6, 2.5 and 2.9 for fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively;
  • A market basket reduction of 1.0 percentage point in 2013, 0.8 percentage point in 2014, and 0.8 percentage point in 2015 (the productivity adjustment and additional annual 0.3 percentage point adjustment, both required under the Affordable Care Act);
  • A 2.0 percent reduction in payments due to the sequester, starting in April 2013;
  • The budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF) reduction impact for 2013, 2014, and 2015;
  • Additional wage index change; and
  • Assumption of higher cost growth in 2014 and 2015 due to increased regulatory burdens.

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House and Senate Committees Pass Budget Plans
Proposals Would Repeal Affordable Care Act, Reform Medicare and Medicaid

Both chambers of Congress this week passed out of committee budget proposals for fiscal year 2016. The proposals include provisions to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.

The custom is for Congress to pass a “budget resolution” each year in response to the President’s budget proposal. The purpose of the budget resolution is to establish the level of discretionary spending for the coming fiscal year. It also provides an unbinding budget framework for the future decade. While the resolution binds Congress to the level of discretionary spending for the approaching fiscal year, its policy proposals do not have the force of law. As a result, many view the budget resolution as a means for Congress to voice its budgetary goals and priorities.

On Thursday, the House passed out the Budget Committee its budget proposal, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.” The proposal would fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

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NAHC’s Legislative Hotsheets Now Available
Hotsheets serve as an important tool to quickly learn about the most important issues affecting the home care and hospice community

NAHC’s Office of Legislative Affairs recently released the Legislative Hotsheets for 2015. The Hotsheets will be used by home care and hospice advocates during the March on Washington. They are designed to help advocates prepare for legislative visits and can also be used as handouts during this year’s March.

They also serve as good primers on the most pressing current issues for the home care and hospice community.

The Legislative Hotsheets are:




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To learn more about the March on Washington, and to register to attend, please click here.  
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