President’s Budget Proposes More Than $470 Billion in Medicare Savings Over 10 Years
Proposals Include Home Health Copays, Additional Payment Cuts for Post-Acute Care Providers, New Hospice Market Basket Cuts, and Other Changes
On Tuesday, February 9, U.S. President Barack Obama released his $4.1 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget proposal, laying out his agenda and legislative priorities for the coming year. While the President’s proposed FY2017 budget has been dubbed by some on Capitol Hill as “dead before arrival,” it includes a new proposal related to hospice services titled, “Reform of Medicare Hospice Payments” of significant concern. The budget document also contains several repeat proposals from last year of great concern to the home health community including the introduction of a home health copayment; further cuts to post-acute care providers, including home health care; provisions for a bundled payment program for post-acute providers; as well as value-based purchasing for post-acute care providers. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has expressed its opposition to and concerns with these proposals, as described in greater detail below.
Introduce Home Health Copayments for New Beneficiaries
This proposal creates a copayment for new beneficiaries of $100 per home health episode, starting in 2020. Consistent with MedPAC recommendations, this copayment will apply only for episodes with five or more visits not preceded by a hospital or inpatient post‐acute stay. Home health services represent one of the few areas in Medicare that do not currently include some beneficiary cost-sharing. [$1.3 billion in savings over 10 years]
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