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:: NAHC Report
 
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2865, 3/16/2016
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Discusses Restructuring Medicare
CMS Announces New Medicaid Initiative Funding Interoperable Technology for Long-Term Care Providers Currently Ineligible for EHR Incentives
For Your Information: NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
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House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Discusses Restructuring Medicare
Weighs Proposals to Combine Medicare Deductibles, Restructure Copays and Limit Medigap Insurance

On March 16, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Preserving and Strengthening Medicare.” During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and others indicated potential support for a number of proposals to restructure Medicare cost sharing, including combining deductibles under Part A and Part B of Medicare, restructuring copays, and limiting Medigap insurance.

Chairman Tiberi called for “long overdue reforms to the outdated Medicare benefit” such as those put forward by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Bowles-Simpson”), which recommended a uniform 20 percent copay for all Medicare services including home health and hospice. He said such reforms would result in “largely stable copayments.” Chairman Tiberi also called for “combining the deductibles under Part A and Part B of Medicare.”

The hearing included discussion about limiting Medigap insurance, and Chairman Tiberi noted that all of the witnesses appeared to support such a proposal. The witnesses included Katherine Baicker, who is a professor at Harvard School of Public Health and serves on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; Stuart Guterman, a senior scholar at AcademyHealth; and Robert E. Moffit, a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

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CMS Announces New Medicaid Initiative Funding Interoperable Technology for Long-Term Care Providers Currently Ineligible for EHR Incentives

On March 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Medicaid initiative to bring interoperable technology to long-term care, behavioral health providers, substance abuse treatment centers, and other providers. CMS has updated guidance to expand the scope of state expenditures eligible for the 90 percent matching rate to those that promote health information exchange (HIE) and encourage the adoption of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR).

According to CMS, the initiative is designed to help bridge the information sharing gap in Medicaid by permitting states to request the 90 percent enhanced matching funds from CMS “to connect a broader variety of Medicaid providers to a health information exchange than those providers who are eligible for such connections today.” CMS added that “this additional funding will enhance the sustainability of health information exchanges and lead to increased connectivity among Medicaid providers.” For example, CMS stated, the exchange of information “can support patients with multiple chronic conditions as they navigate specialists, hospitals, primary care, home health care, and pharmacies.”

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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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