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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2704, 7/15/2015
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Following Supreme Court Decision on ACA, Focus Shifts to Medicaid Expansion in States
House Passes Legislation Extending Home-Based Demonstration Model
For Your Information: What Does the CMS Proposed Payment Rule for Home Care Mean to You?
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Following Supreme Court Decision on ACA, Focus Shifts to Medicaid Expansion in States

An adverse ruling by the US Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies could have sent Obamacare into a tailspin and resulted in chaos for the health care system nationwide. Instead, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the ACA subsidies for individuals who purchase insurance through a non-state exchange, as previously reported.

With the Supreme Court having now twice upheld key components of the ACA, the common perception is that, while there may be some legislative changes to the law, Obamacare is likely a permanent fixture in our health care system. As a result, states that have not yet done so are facing renewed questions about adopting Medicaid expansion.

In announcing that Obamacare is “here to stay” following the Supreme Court ruling, President Barack Obama quickly pivoted to making the case for Medicaid expansion. “If we can get some governors that have been holding out and resisting expanding Medicaid primarily for political reasons to think about what they can do for their citizens who don’t have health insurance but could get it very easily if state governments acted, then we could see even more improvement over time,” Obama said at a press conference following the ruling.

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House Passes Legislation Extending Home-Based Demonstration Model

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 15, passed legislation extending for an additional two years a home-based demonstration model implemented under the Affordable Care Act. The Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act (S. 971) extends for an additional two years the Independence at Home program focusing on certain high-risk patients with chronic illnesses.

The House passed the legislation by voice vote. As previously reported, the US Senate passed the legislation in April. The bill was introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with cosponsors Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Following the Senate vote, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the legislation allowing consideration of the bill on the House floor.

The Independence at Home model uses home-based primary care teams directed by physicians and nurse practitioners to treat Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions. The demonstration tests a service delivery and payment model that provides incentives to teams based on their performances improving health outcomes and reducing expenditures. The reimbursement method shares Medicare savings between Medicare and participating providers.

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NAHC Live Web Event on Hospice Vulnerabilities to be Held on July 16

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 1 p.m. Eastern, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) will host a live Web event exploring hospice vulnerabilities and providing guidance on how hospices can assess risk and tailor its practices to achieve full compliance.  Registration is available at reduced rates for NAHC members; attendees can choose to participate live or purchase access to a program recording for viewing at a later date. Nursing CEs will be offered.  For previous NAHC Report article on the event, click here.

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

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