National Association for Home Care & Hospice Strongly Supports the Legislation Introduced to Bring Innovation and Strengthened Reforms to Medicare Home Health Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Thomas Threlkeld
202-547-7424/ tom@nahc.org

National Association for Home Care & Hospice Strongly Supports the Legislation Introduced to Bring Innovation and Strengthened Reforms to Medicare Home Health Services  

NAHC applauds bipartisan Senators for introducing legislation that creates flexibility in the home health benefit eligibility and ensures reliable Medicare payment model changes

WASHINGTON – The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) commends Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for introducing legislation that permits flexibility in the application of Medicare home health benefit eligibility standards to improve access to efficient and high quality care services. The bill also secures prudent payment reforms to ensure that access to vital care is not weakened.

“NAHC fully supports this bill as essential steps to modernize the home health benefit and to secure a patient-safe transition to a new Medicare payment model for home health services, stated William A. Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. “This bill is intended to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens at a time when they need care through prudent approaches to payment reform that avoids premature and inappropriate payment rate reductions,” he added.

The bill would permit Medicare Advantage plans and certain innovative care delivery models to waive the “homebound” requirement for home health services when the plan or payment model determines that providing care in the home would improve patient outcomes and reduce spending on patient care. The waiver would be limited to MA plans and innovative models where the participants assume financial risk for overuse of services.

The bill also addresses Medicare’s proposal to prematurely cut payment rates by over $1 billion annually based on mere assumptions of potential provider behavioral changes and prevents a destabilization of home health services at a time when a dramatically restructured payment model is being instituted.  Instead, the legislation would require Medicare to institute rate adjustments only after HHA behavioral changes actually occur and ensure Medicare budget neutrality to limit the risk of disruption in care caused by a new model of payment.

***

About NAHC   The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is the voice of home care and hospice.  NAHC represents the nation’s 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 nahc.org.