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:: NAHC Report
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2709, 7/22/2015
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CMS Announces Hospice Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) Awardees
Senators Seek to Reform Home Health Face-to-Face Physician Documentation Requirement
For Your Information: Major Players in Passing Medicare and Medicaid Legislation: John William McCormack
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CMS Announces Hospice Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) Awardees

On July 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the names of more than 140 hospice programs nationwide that have been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM). A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the MCCM was issued in spring 2014 with the intention that selected programs would be announced in the fall of 2014 and start delivery of services on January 1, 2015; however, due to enthusiastic response from the hospice industry, review of the applications took longer than anticipated. The hospice industry has been anxiously awaiting release of information about the project for a number of months. Ultimately CMS expanded the project from the planned 30 sites, and anticipates a start date for a portion of the projects of January 1, 2016, with the remainder to begin in January 2018. All projects will conclude on December 31, 2020. The goals of the MCCM project are to:

  • Evaluate whether eligible Medicare and dually eligible beneficiaries would elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice if they were able to also receive curative care, and
  • Determine whether providing both palliative and curative care concurrently impacts care quality and patient and family satisfaction.

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Senators Seek to Reform Home Health Face-to-Face Physician Documentation Requirement

Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) are working on legislation to reform the home health face-to-face physician encounter documentation requirement. The Senators demonstrated their commitment to addressing the issue in June by introducing a bill (S. 1650), and they are continuing their efforts to improve the bill in order to ensure it resolves serious concerns with the existing face-to-face requirement and its impact on patient care.

Both Senators have expressed the need for legislation in order to reform the existing requirement. “The existing home health face-to-face requirement is simple in theory, but has proven unworkable in practice,” said Senator Menendez in a statement regarding his efforts to reform the face-to-face requirement.

“I’ve been concerned the face-to-face encounter requirement would be particularly difficult for our most vulnerable beneficiaries, especially those in rural areas, and could limit access to care,” said Senator Roberts.

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Major Players in Passing Medicare and Medicaid Legislation
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid legislation on July 30, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice is recognizing individuals who played an important role in passing the legislation throughout July.

John William McCormack served in the United States House of Representatives for 43 years including almost a decade as Speaker of the House. He also served as House Majority Leader on three different occasions. His difficult childhood growing up in Boston contributed to his efforts in public service to address poverty. McCormack quit school after the eighth grade in order to work at a brokerage firm to support his family. While he never attended high school, McCormack studied law in the evenings and was able to pass the Massachusetts bar exam by the age of 21. After serving in World War I, McCormack pursued his interest in politics, winning election to the Massachusetts state legislature and later to the United States Congress. He eventually became Speaker of the House as a self-declared “national” Congressman who represented the interests of the country as a whole rather than only those of his district. As Speaker of the House from 1962 to 1971, McCormack had an important role in the Great Society legislation—including Medicare, welfare and civil rights legislation. “I have no hesitancy in insisting that Government in an emergency do everything that can reasonably be done to relieve human suffering and distress,” he said. Throughout his distinguished career, he displayed a deep passion for public service and the legislative body in which he served. “My heart is in this House,” he said, in 1970, at the time of his retirement. “I have an intense love for this body.”

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