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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2866, 3/17/2016
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House Budget Committee Approves Budget Resolution, Which Includes Medicare and Medicaid Proposals of Concern
CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
For Your Information: NAHC Announces the March on Washington Conference
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House Budget Committee Approves Budget Resolution, Which Includes Medicare and Medicaid Proposals of Concern

On March 16, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee approved a fiscal year 2017 budget resolution, including Medicare and Medicaid proposals. The budget resolution, which proposes $1.07 trillion in discretionary spending for FY2017 and $7 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years, would change Medicare into a premium-based system, combine Medicare Part A and Part B, limit supplemental insurance, and turn Medicaid into a block grant program. The resolution would also repeal the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as the ACA in its entirety. While NAHC supports targeted reforms to the ACA, such as repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, NAHC opposes the proposals in the resolution restructuring Medicare and Medicaid that create barriers to home care and hospices services.

The Committee also passed an amendment to the resolution encouraging leaders to attach “sidecar” legislation that would cut an additional $30 billion over two years and $150 billion over a decade. While the full House may have enough votes to pass the legislation along with the budget resolution on the House floor, the Medicare and Medicaid proposals would unlikely pass the Senate and would be opposed by the President. The potential companion legislation would include H.R. 4725, the Common Sense Savings Act, which was passed out of the House Energy & Commerce (E&C) Committee this week. H.R. 4725 would reduce the Medicaid provider tax from 6 – 5.5 percent. Some states use the tax on nursing homes to generate in-state funds that qualify for federal matching funds. The proposal would have the effect of reducing federal Medicaid funding to the states. Another proposal in H.R. 4725 would eliminate the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage for the Children’s Health Insurance Program starting in FY2016 through FY2019.

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CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

As part of the U.S. government’s response to the epidemic of overdose deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 15 issued new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016 will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients.

“More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, we must act now,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline will give physicians and patients the information they need to make more informed decisions about treatment.”

The guideline provides recommendations on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (that is, pain lasting longer than three months or past the time of normal tissue healing). Chronic pain is a public health concern in the United States, and patients with chronic pain deserve safe and effective pain management. 

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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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