Please help us advocate for The Choose Home Care Act, which would provide eligible recipients with SNF-like levels of care at home for 30 days post hospital discharge.
Last week, legislation was introduced in the US Senate that would provide the most significant update to the Medicare home health benefit since its inception. A strong bipartisan group of senators filed the Choose Home Care Act, which would provide eligible recipients with SNF-like levels of care at home for 30 days post hospital discharge. Services would include not only traditional nursing and therapy, but also meals, personal care, remote patient monitoring, and non-emergent transportation, if needed.
A study commissioned by NAHC and the Partnership for Quality Home Health care estimates that the Choose Home Care program could generate Medicare annual savings of $144-247 million with $1.6-2.8 billion in savings over 10 years. NAHC President Bill Dombi called this “must pass” legislation. So, we have a bipartisan bill that could save Medicare dollars, with support from AARP and others in the aging advocacy networks. Sounds like a slam dunk. But this is DC, so there are no such things.
While the advocacy focus is currently on the Senate bill, I hope that when the House acts, Massachusetts can lead the way and get our full delegation on board. Please help Choose Home and send a message to our two senators.
NAHC’s Bill Dombi replies to reports that patients across the country are being told they no longer qualify for certain Medicare services or that services have been cut or discontinued.
Kaiser Health News and other health care media outlets are reporting that patients across the country are being told they no longer qualify for certain Medicare home health services or that services have to be cut back or discontinued due to changes in Medicare scope of benefits. On a call with state home care association executives this week, Bill Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice confirmed that they are hearing of such cases from patient advocacy groups, such as the Center for Medicare Advocacy. If such behavior gives the industry “a reputation for putting bottom line ahead of patient care, it’s going to be bad long term for the home care industry,” said Dombi.
In terms of any shortcoming with the PDGM model, he said, we want to be able to lay these at the feet of the model’s crafters at CMS, not having them come back at us for over adjusting behaviors even beyond what was built into the model. He further suggested that until proven otherwise it might be case of managers and field staff inaccurately translating direction from management as to what has changed. He suggested CMS might need to do some more education around what has changed (payment) and what has not (coverage).
NAHC will present a series of six new webinars – free to members and non-members – on PDGM in Real Time featuring an open forum in which attendees can share and gain insights with Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA) experts about what is working and not working in the early weeks of PDGM.
These webinars are designed to enable home health agencies to achieve “high performer” status through continuous operational improvements in financial, clinical, business analytics, and administrative operations as PDGM unfolds.
The schedule for the “Wednesday webinars at 1 PM ET” is as follows:
February 12 at 1:00 PM ET Info Tech/EMR readiness
February 19 at 1:00 PM ET PDGM coding
February 26 at 1:00 PM ET PDGM cash flow & LUPAs
March 4 at 1:00 PM ET Therapy in PDGM
March 11 at 1:00 PM ET Clinical management of patient episode
Guest: William Dombi was appointed as NAHC’s interim president this past August, and served as its vice president for law since 1987. He is also director of the Center for Health Care Law, a nonprofit, public interest law firm established by NAHC, and executive director of the Home Care and Hospice Financial Managers Association. Additionally, he is a member of the advisory board of Bloomberg BNA’s Medicare Report.
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