Today, representatives from the home care and hospice industry state associations will be representing providers in Washington, D.C. to meet with Congress and discuss critical home care issues. Your voice is needed too!
As you’ve probably heard by now, the fiscal cliff is nearing. Before January, Congress must reduce federal spending or a 2% cut will kick in across all federal programs (including Medicare provider payments), and a tax increase will be imposed for most Americans as the Bush tax cuts expire. Congress wants to reduce the deficit and extend some tax cuts, but we must make sure that both are not achieved on the backs of America’s seniors!
Mark your calendar because on Thursday, Dec. 6, as the state associations and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) are hosting a Virtual Lobby Day for you to contact your representative and senators by email or phone (or both!) to make our message clear . . .
NO COPAYS A home health copay for the purpose of deficit reduction and/or off-setting the flawed Medicare physician payment formula would amount to a sick tax on the oldest, sickest, poorest seniors.
NO MORE CUTS Since 2009, the Medicare home health benefit has been cut $77 billion over 10 years. As a result, nearly 50% of Medicare HHAs will be under water in 2012…that is, paid less than their costs by Medicare.
REFORM THE EMPLOYER MANDATE Providers will be saddled with significant new responsibilities to provider insurance for their employees or pay a $2,000 penalty for each full-time employee. Congress should exempt home care providers from these new obligations, or (1) adjust provider rates to offset the additional costs to be incurred, and (2) provide tax cuts to help individuals who must pay privately for home care services.
STRENGTHEN ANTI-FRAUD EFFORTS BY IMPOSING A MORATORIUM Congress and the Office of the Inspector General are calling on CMS to impose a targeted, temporary moratorium in areas with high billing and a significantly high ratio of providers to beneficiaries. Miami-Dade will almost certainly be a part of this discussion, but a moratorium will give CMS time to root out the bad actors and clean up our industry.
Please be involved and present a unified message as Congress works to address the impending fiscal cliff.