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Legislation to Stop Home Health Rate Cuts Introduced in Congress (3)

Posted on Monday, October 1, 2018 1:31 PM

A bill, H.R. 6932, just introduced in the House of Representatives would eliminate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) ability to reduce reimbursement rates for home health care.

The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) authorized CMS to make rate adjustments on the basis of assumptions of provider behavior in response to payment model changes. Shortly after passing, CMS responded by proposing a 6.42 percent rate reduction in its annual update in July.

H.R. 6932 removes the authorization for CMS to impose rate adjustments that are assumption-based changes, instead requiring that observed evidence of provider behavior change be the method for determining rate adjustments. Additionally, the legislation calls for a phase-in of the adjustment should it exceed two percentage points. As we covered here, companion legislation was previously introduced in the Senate last week by Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

“Home health services are vital to Medicare beneficiaries. These bills will provide the means to stabilize access to care while Medicare transforms the payment model in significant ways,” stated William A. Dombi, President of NAHC. “Home health services are essential as an innovative and high-quality solution in health care delivery. When enacted, these legislative proposals will go a long way to ensuring that the benefits of home health care are fully realized,” he added.

Stay tuned for updates on this important legislation.

Source: NAHC Report

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