NAHC Calls on Agencies to Act, Oppose Cuts

The Alliance urges it’s members to get involved in federal advocacy given a recent announcement in the NAHC Report. The US House of Representatives has recently released a draft health care reform bill that would cut the Medicare home health benefit by $51 billion over 10 years. Read the pared down and edited except from NAHC Report below to see what you can do.

The message to bring to lawmakers is, “I support the goal of health care for all. However, the goal should not come at the expense of frail elderly and disabled homebound Medicare beneficiaries receiving home health services. Home health services preserve independence, keep families together, and save Medicare dollars by keeping Medicare beneficiaries out of hospitals and nursing homes. Please oppose the proposal to cut home health care.”

A. Calling Members of Congress. You can communicate your concerns to their staff in local or Washington, D.C. offices by phone. When calling, ask the receptionist to connect you with the staffer who handles Medicare issues. To find out the name of your representative, click here.

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Alliance Submits Comments on Rate Cut Study Bill

In response to MassHealth’s 20 percent rate cut to skilled nursing visits past 60 days of care – administered as part of the Governor’s 9c cuts –  the Alliance filed legislation that would instruct the Executive Office of Health & Human Services to study the issue and then would establish a special commission to review those findings.

At a public hearing in front of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on Wednesday, June 24, the Alliance submitted written testimony in support of this legislative priority, titled House Bill 1072, An Act Ordering a Study of Home Health Service Rate Cuts.  The Alliance also enclosed letters from State Senate Majority Leader Frederick Berry and State Representative Christine Canavan written to the Division of Health Care Finance & Policy in late January when they held a public hearing on the rate cut, which took effect on December 1, 2008.

The bill was filed by State Representative Sean Garballey, who offered remarks at the recent public hearing. Rep. Garballey also circulated a sign on letter in opposition to the cuts, which was signed by 18 fellow legislators, and sent to Governor Deval Patrick.

To see the Alliance’s testimony on House Bill 1072, click here.

To learn more about the Alliance’s legislative priorities, please contact us or visit our News & Advocacy page.

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Membership e-Renewals Are Here!

I’m pleased to announce that — for the first time — Alliance agencies will have the choice of either renewing their membership through traditional the hard-copy application or electronically.  Though, the primary contact of each member agency should receive a package with the hard-copy renewal (which should arrive by Friday), we highly encourage you to e-Renew.

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76 Congressmen Sign on to Oppose Home Health Cuts

Thanks to all those who contacted their Congressional representatives! Because of your efforts, the Massachusetts delegation had a strong showing on the sign on letter initiated by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC).

Among the 76 US Representative nationwide who signed their name, Massachusetts had Congressmen Mike Capuano, Bill Delahunt, Barney Frank and John Olver (in addition to Jim McGovern).

To view the final letter with signatures, click here.

The focus now turns to the US Senate where a similar letter is being circulated. Please go to our Legislative Action Center where you can contact Senators Kerry and Kennedy to urge their participation in standing up for home health. Just go to the first message under “Federal or National Issues.”

If you have any questions, please contact James Fuccione at the Alliance.

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