NAHC Strongly Supports the Preserving Access to Home Health Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Thomas Threlkeld
Director of Communications, NAHC
202-547-7424/tom@nahc.org

NAHC Strongly Supports the Preserving Access to Home Health Act

WASHINGTON, DC, July 25, 2022 – The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) hails the introduction of the Preserving Access to Home Health Act, which will prevent cuts to the Medicare Home Health payment rate as proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in their Calendar Year 2023 rulemaking. Introduced in the Senate today, the Preserving Access to Home Health Act, is sponsored by longtime home care champions Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

“The home health care community offers its thanks to Senators Stabenow and Collins on their introduction of legislation that will bring a crucial ‘time out’ regarding the Medicare proposed rate cut,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “We estimate that 44 percent of all home health agencies would operate at a financial loss next year of the 7.69 percent rate cut takes effect, triggering a loss a care access for the millions of people relying on home health care.

“This legislation should secure continued access to care,” added Dombi. “It will also provide an extended opportunity for CMS to rethink its approach to the budget neutrality adjustment. We firmly believe that CMS has much better options to consider that do not devastate the care that millions depend on.  Our great thanks for out to Senators Stabenow and Collins.”

In proposing this rate cut, NAHC believes CMS is not in compliance with the law.

NAHC will be launching a major grassroots effort in the next day to get the entire home health community involved in fighting for the survival of agencies and the continued access to care for the millions of Americans who deserve and depend upon quality care in the home.

In June CMS released their proposed rule for home health services for CY2023. As part of their proposal they called for a 7.69 percent reduction to the base payment rate in order to meet a budget neutrality requirement as part of the transition to the Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). In the Balanced Budget Act of 2018 Congress set parameters for the creation of PDGM with a 30-day payment episode, removal of therapy utilization in payment determinations, and a new case-mix methodology.

In developing PDGM, CMS was authorized to make adjustments to the base payment rates to account for behavioral assumptions, which NAHC has long advocated against. CMS was also authorized to make additional adjustments to maintain budget neutrality between projections of what would have been spent under the former prospective payment system and what has been spent under PDGM.

This legislation is a top priority for NAHC and the home health community at large. Leading up to the legislation’s introduction NAHC has been updating Senators and Members of Congress on the CMS proposal and ramifications for providers and patients. With the bill now introduced NAHC will shift to building support for the measure. NAHC encourages all members and their staff to urge their federally elected officials to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act.

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About National Association for Home Care & Hospice (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, visit nahc.org