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Washington, D.C., December 19, 2017:
Congress is considering severe cuts to Medicare home health payment rates and spending that could total $4-$6 billion over the next ten years. What’s more, lawmakers are considering phasing out the rural add-on over the next three to five years.
These cuts are of great concern to the home health community, as they affect us disproportionately compared to other sectors of health care and the savings would be used for other programs and providers rather than redistributed within home health. The Preserve Access to Medicare Rural Home Health Services Act of 2017 (S. 353), which would extend the rural add-on for five years at three percent, with an offset to cover the cost, is the model Congress should utilize.
“Too often Congress ends up in a rush to pass important legislation at year’s end,” said William A. Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). “We must make our voices heard in great numbers to ensure proper passage of an extension of the Medicare rural add-on without unnecessary costs and with due regard for sensible payment reform measures. I encourage you all to send a strong message to Congress to protect home health care.”
NAHC is engaged with representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other stakeholder groups on devising a refined payment model that will strengthen and improve the home health benefit. Legislative reform is not necessary. NAHC will continue to be actively engaged with Congressional and CMS leadership working to protect home health patients and the Medicare home health benefit to its fullest purpose.
However, NAHC and the entire home health community need your help to defeat these cuts, which threaten the quality of care for millions of patients and providers. Please, GO HERE to use our Legislative Action Network to contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them to oppose cuts to Medicare home health payment rates and spending.
About: The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is the voice of home care and hospice. NAHC represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice providers, along with the more than two million nurses, therapists, and aides they employ. These caregivers provide vital services to Americans who are aged, disabled, and ill. Some 12 million patients depend on home care and hospice providers, who depend on NAHC for the best in advocacy, education, and information. NAHC is a nonprofit organization that helps its members maintain the highest standards of care. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.