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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2702, 7/13/2015
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
White House Conference on Aging Addresses Issues Facing Aging Americans
Physicians Could Be Paid for Advance Care Planning Consultations in 2016
For Your Information: What Does the CMS Proposed Payment Rule for Home Care Mean to You?
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White House Conference on Aging Addresses Issues Facing Aging Americans
President Obama Speaks About Growing Importance of Home Care

The White House Conference on Aging was held on Monday, July 13, in Washington, D.C. Once every decade, the Executive Office of the President hosts the Conference on Aging in order to address issues facing aging Americans. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) focused on a variety of issue areas affecting older Americans including home and community-based care, technology, innovation, caregiver support, elder abuse, financial security, and retirement.

In his address, President Obama said that “ensuring we have enough home care workers” is part of the solution to the challenges of caring for a growing senior population and seeing that “every American has the resources and support to thrive.” He used the example of his grandmother, a “fiercely independent woman,” who chose to live at home after his grandfather passed away. He said, “Medicare and Social Security allowed her to make that choice” to stay in her home.

Today, he said, our nation faces the challenges of “dealing with the rising costs of an aging generation, ensuring we have enough home care workers looking out for our family members, maximizing the contributions that older Americans can make to our country.”

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Physicians Could Be Paid for Advance Care Planning Consultations in 2016

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released proposed changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule via the proposal: Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for C Y 2016. The changes for calendar year 2016 could include payment to physicians for advance care planning sessions they have with patients, family member(s) and/or surrogate.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has a long-held position supporting advance care consultations as part of patient planning and decision-making relative to serious illness, and joined with other organizations earlier this year in urging CMS to include coverage of such planning in its 2016 physician payment rule. NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris pledged the association’s support of CMS’ proposal, saying, “We share the widely held belief that Medicare beneficiaries with serious health conditions desire and need expanded opportunities for discussion of their conditions, the range of treatment options available, and their personal wishes relative to their care as these health conditions progress. CMS’ proposed coverage of advance care planning is a vital step toward improving quality of care and ensuring patient involvement and self-determination in the health care decision-making process. Its purpose is to allow patients—on a voluntary basis—to better understand the options available to them and to make care choices that best suit their interests and beliefs. We applaud CMS’ proposal to empower consumers in this way, and support this change as part of an overall effort to improve care for individuals with life-threatening conditions.”

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What Does the CMS Proposed Payment Rule for Home Care Mean to You?
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern

FREE Web Event for NAHC Members! On July 6, 2015, CMS issued proposed regulations that set Medicare home health services payment for 2016. The proposed rules also include a significant pilot program on Value-Based Purchasing, setting the stage for a national reform in the near future. This Web Event provides an opportunity for home health care stakeholders to learn the details on what is in these proposed regulations along with NAHC's expert analysis and advocacy plans on behalf of home care.

To register, please go to NAHC’s online CARING STORE.

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