Home Health Faces Big Cuts: Act Now and Contact Your Representative!

Posted on Monday, December 18, 2017 1:28 PM

Home Health Faces Big Cuts!!!

Right now, Congress is considering substantial cuts to Medicare home health payment rates and spending. The biggest risk is the year-end Medicare extenders package are embedded cuts that potentially could be wrapped up in a package that would be the equivalent of $3-$6 billion over the next 10 years. The cuts are the result of payment reforms including a shift from the current 60-day payment schedule to a 30-day one. It also will include a base payment rate that will not cover the cost of care. As if that wasn’t enough, they are possibly planning on phasing out the rural add-on over the next 3-5 years. 

“These cuts are very concerning to the home care community as they are disproportionate to other health care sectors, and the savings realized would be used towards funding other programs and provider groups, not redistributed within home health. No more funding than is necessary to cover the rural add-on should be taken from the home health benefit. Legislation put forth by Senators Susan Collins and Maria Cantwell, S. 353, accomplishes this goal by extending the rural add-on for five years at three percent with an offset to cover the cost. This should be the model that Congress utilizes.”

NAHC and CMS will continually be in contact with Congressional Leaders and other stakeholder groups to protect home health patients. 

As a result, NAHC has sent out an urgent action alert to contact your representatives and senators!

NAHC is encouraging everyone involved in home health care to contact their elected officials.  These are the points that should be addressed to your Congressional Representatives:

“1. Medicare Home Health payment rates/ spending should not be cut beyond that needed to fund the rural add-on
2. The rural add-on should be simply extended without eligibility restrictions
3. Stakeholders are currently engaged with CMS to develop payment system reforms. Legislative action is not necessary

The time is now for you to contact your Senators and Representatives and ask that excessive cuts be taken out of the Medicare Extenders Package. Phone calls (Senate numbers and House numbers) and emails will be the most effective means to stopping this from happening. NAHCs’ Legislative Action Network is an easy resource to send a quick message if you don’t have the time to call or write a personal email. Social media is another great avenue to make your voice heard.”

Below is a sample tweet you can use.
Sample Tweet: [@electedofficial] Home health is vital health care people depend on. Please protect it from cuts in the Medicare extenders package and approve a clean extension of the rural add-on.

Source: NAHC Action Center

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