In June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their annual proposed rule for Medicare home health services, which includes a proposed 7.69% reduction to payment rates, and an additional $2 billion in “clawback” cuts to home healthcare services for CY2023. With home care providers already facing an unprecedented workforce shortage, leading many to turn away patients due to lack of staff, inflation, and exceedingly high gasoline prices, now is not the time to cut payment rates.
In response, lawmakers moved quickly to prevent this proposed rate cut that would have a devastating effect on the industry. In August, bipartisan lawmakers introduced The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 (S.4605/H.R.8581). would delay the 7.69% payment cut proposed for 2023, which would total $1.33 billion in 2023 alone. The bill would also block additional cuts of more than $2 billion as soon as 2024 due to an unjustified “clawback” of payments for critical home healthcare services delivered to seniors and people with disabilities during the pandemic. If the rule were to move forward, up to 45% of providers in Massachusetts will have an overall margin below zero. The Preserving Access to Home Health Act would reduce that impact to just 26% of HHAs, saving countless of agencies across the state.
Patients currently face extensive access challenges and the CMS proposed rule will only exasperate the problem. Home health leaders have consistently outlined concerns related to CMS’ methodology in proposing these payment adjustments while also highlighting significant increases in labor and supply costs across the home health community.
Please use the action alert below to write to your member of Congress urging them to support The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 (S.4605/H.R.8581).