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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2710, 7/23/2015
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In Annual Report, Medicare Trustees Maintain Prediction that Program Will Remain Solvent Through 2030
PEPPER Now Available for Home Health Agencies
For Your Information: Major Players in Passing Medicare and Medicaid Legislation: Carl Albert
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In Annual Report, Medicare Trustees Maintain Prediction that Program Will Remain Solvent Through 2030

On July 23, the Medicare Trustees released the annual report for 2015, maintaining the prediction in last year’s report that Medicare will remain solvent through 2030. Overall, the Medicare Trustee’s 2015 report indicates that Medicare is on solid footing with historically slow cost growth. The outlook for Medicare has improved across several categories compared to last year’s report. The report indicates that Medicare’s improved outlook in recent years may be a result of changes under the Affordable Care Act. Medicare is now projected to remain solvent for 13 years longer than projected in 2009, before the ACA was enacted.

In a statement regarding the report, Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, called the slow cost growth in the report “good news.” “Growth in per-Medicare enrollee costs continues to be historically low even as the economy continues to rebound,” said Slavitt.

In 2014, Medicare provided coverage for 53.8 million Americans with $613.3 billion in total expenditures. Per enrollee Medicare spending growth has averaged a historically low 1.3 percent over the last five years. Over the next decade, per enrollee Medicare spending growth is projected to be 4.2 percent, lower than the projected growth of 5.1 percent in overall health expenditures. The report also projects lower spending for Part A and Part D in 2014, and that 70 percent of Part B beneficiaries will see no increase in their premiums in 2016.

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PEPPER Now Available for Home Health Agencies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made available free provider-specific comparative data reports for home health agencies (HHAs) nationwide. The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) summarizes HHA claims data statistics for areas that may be at risk for improper Medicare payments:

  1. Average Case Mix
  2. Average Number of Episodes
  3. Episodes with 5 or 6 Visits
  4. Non-LUPA Payments
  5. High Therapy Utilization Episodes
  6. Outlier Payments

HHAs can use the data to support internal auditing and monitoring activities. PEPPER is a free report comparing an HHA’s Medicare billing practices with other HHAs in the nation, Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) jurisdiction and state. CMS has contracted with TMF® Health Quality Institute to develop and distribute the reports.

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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.

Carl Albert served as an Oklahoma member of the United States House of Representatives for 30 years and as Speaker of the legislative body from 1971 to 1977. Admirers referred to the 5-foot-4-inch Albert as the “Little Giant from Little Dixie,” based on his prominent role in public service. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Albert studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and then joined the United States Army in 1941, earning a bronze medal and the rank of lieutenant colonel as a judge advocate general on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur before leaving the service in 1946. That same year he was elected to the United States Congress as a Democrat with a moderate point of view: “I like to face the issues in terms of conditions and not in terms of someone’s inborn political philosophy,” he said. As Majority Leader, Albert worked with both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations to pass the Medicare bill. After failing to pass the bill during Kennedy’s presidency, Albert modified the House rules in order to make it easier for the Majority to pass the legislation. In signing the Medicare bill into law, President Lyndon Johnson commended the “great leadership” of then-Majority Leader Albert in helping to steer the legislation through Congress. Later, as Speaker of the House, Albert would help guide the nation through the Watergate crisis.


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  • Bachelors Degree in Nursing, Business Administration, or related field required; Masters Degree in Nursing, Business Administration, or related field preferred.
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