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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2858, 3/7/2016
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Senior Groups Comment on President’s FY2017 Budget
Legislation Requiring Information Sharing to Identify Providers Terminated from Medicaid Passed by House
For Your Information: NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
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Senior Groups Comment on President’s FY2017 Budget
Express Concerns about Proposed Medicare Cuts, Home Health Copay

In a letter dated March 1, 2016, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) sent comments to Congress on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget proposal. LCAO expressed concerns about proposals in the President’s FY2017 budget to create a home health copay and cut Medicare by over $400 billion over 10 years. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) analyzed the proposals in the President’s FY2017 budget affecting home care and hospice in previous NAHC Report coverage available here and here.

NAHC is a member of LCAO, a 72-member coalition of the nation’s non-profit organizations serving older Americans. LCAO is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the well-being of America’s older population and provides a voice for seniors and their families in the ongoing debate on aging policy.

“Compared with the 46 million seniors today, by 2030, 70 million people – 1 in 5 Americans – will be 65 or older. Many older Americans face economic and health challenges,” LCAO stated in its comments. “Currently, nearly 90 percent of seniors have at least one chronic condition, 4.2 million adults over the age of 65 live in poverty and nearly one in six seniors struggle with hunger. Decades of stagnant wages and the erosion of employer-sponsored retirement benefits and savings are grinding away at the economic security of millions of seniors. Given these demographic and economic realities, we urge you to ensure that the FY 2017 congressional budget resolution strengthens the financial and health security of older adults and to reject proposals that would increase costs or reduce benefits and services for current and future generations of older Americans.”

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MedPAC Discusses Policy Principles for Potential Expansion of Telehealth in Medicare

On March 3, 2016, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) convened a session entitled, “Telehealth Services and the Medicare Program.” During the session, the Commissioners discussed the current utilization and efficacy of telehealth services, as well as policy principles to guide the potential expansion of telealth coverage under Medicare. MedPAC previously met to discuss this topic in November 2015; MedPAC has updated its research determining that “evidence of the efficacy of telehealth is mixed.” Its June 2016 report will contain a chapter with policy principles pertaining to telehealth, rather than official recommendations. However, several Commissions urged that MedPAC was being overly cautious in its approach.

The session began with MedPAC staff providing an overview of telehealth utilization and efficacy. They described telehealth as a multidimensional set of services, with Medicare’s coverage of telehealth under the Physician Fee Schedule limited to rural locations and specific services. MedPAC concluded that the use of telehealth was very low within Medicare but that it has been growing recently. MedPAC described that some employers and insurers were using telehealth outside of Medicare, and that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses telehealth more widely. Finally, MedPAC concluded that the ability of telealth to expand access, improve quality and reduce cost was mixed.

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NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, April 3–5, 2016

NAHC is hosting the 2016 March on Washington Conference in the splendid city of Washington, DC. Now is a critical point as we face new rules that could challenge our mission to serve America’s aged, disabled, and ill. Join us as we work to make home care and hospice the center of health care in our country.

The nation’s capital is the heart of legislative activity that affects home care and hospice. That makes it the perfect place to raise awareness of the vital work we do. Together, we can deliver a unified message to those who make the policies that shape our business. Take advantage of this chance to lobby your lawmakers, connect with colleagues, and attend educational sessions led by experts in our field.

Register and Book Your Hotel!

View the Conference Program!


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