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NAHC Applauds Bipartisan Legislation to Stop Payment Rate Cuts

Posted on Friday, October 5, 2018 1:34 PM

In an effort to stop CMS from cutting home health rates, Senators Collins (R-ME), Stabenow (D-MI) and Nelson (D-FL) have introduced legislation to protect patients and providers from detrimental reimbursement requirements.

“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 allow Medicare Advantage plans and certain care delivery models to waive the “homebound” requirement for home health services when the plan or payment model shows that providing care in home would improve patient outcomes and reduce spending. The waiver would be limited to MA plans and innovative models where the participants assume financial risk for overuse of services. This would take effect by January 2020.

“The bill also addresses Medicare’s proposal payment rates by over $1 billion annually based on 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.”

Source: NAHC Report

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