Congressional Extenders Package May Impact Home Health

With the end of the year just around the corner, Congress still has numerous legislative items left to be completed. Currently, the House and Senate are working to complete the tax reform legislation. The House passed this legislation today and the Senate will begin its work later this evening. Of pressing concern is the government funding that is due to run out on Friday. Additionally, at the end of the year, important priorities like the rural add-on will expire with costs associated.  
 
ElevatingHOME continues to focus on several priorities in the coming days, including:
  • Tax Reform: The tax reform legislation has high associated cost. It will be important that the PAYGO provision is waived so that a sequestration of up to four percent of Medicare is not triggered. 
  • Medicare Extenders: This legislation would allow the continuation of the rural add-on for home health providers.
    • Within the Medicare extenders legislation there has been indication of a cut to home health care, like many other sectors. In recent days, there has been speculation that the cut is far beyond the discussed market basket reduction and could total more than a $3B cut over ten years.
    • When the House Ways and Means first outlined the bipartisan agreement, they stated that there would be “modifications to home health agency payment, including MedPAC recommendations and building blocks to payment reform.” ElevatingHOME believes that this is an effort to reinvigorate the Home Health Groupings Model and justify a market basket cut.  
ElevatingHOME will continue to advocate on behalf of members and will alert members to any Congressional action. It is likely that there will be a short term continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government until January, including Medicare extenders. Contact Joy Cameron with questions.


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