The Home Care Community Must Rally to Support the Choose Home Care Act

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 is a landmark piece of legislation for the home care community. If enacted, it would enable eligible Medicare patients to receive extended care services as an add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for 30 days post-discharge. This legislation would help seriously ill individuals recover safely at home, increasing patient and family satisfaction as well as significantly reducing the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other infectious diseases.

The Choose Home model also promotes significant Medicare savings—up to an estimated $247 million annually— by offering nursing home level services in the home setting instead of in a skilled nursing facility or other institutional settings.

Further, recent polling data from Morning Consult show strong support for post-hospital care in the home with 94% of Medicare-aged respondents saying they would prefer health care at home to a nursing home. In the same poll, 86% of respondents expressed support for the Choose Home legislation, including 92% of Democrat respondents and 83% of Republican respondents.

First introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.2562) in July by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN), a companion bill in the House was introduced last Friday, October 8, a companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. It is vitally important that the entire home care community rally to support this legislation. NAHC advocates have been working for months to build support for this legislation, but now we need your help to get the bill passed by Congress and signed into law.

GO HERE to tell your Senators and your member of the House to vote for the Choose Home Care Act of 2021. It literally takes you only seconds to send a powerful message to your specific elected representatives.

“Since being introduced in the Senate, Choose Home has received an outpouring of support from America’s home health community as well as consumer and patient advocates alike, which we believe demonstrates how important it is to increase access to safe, cost-effective care at home for Medicare beneficiaries after hospitalization. We commend Reps. Cuellar and Comer for their leadership on issues impacting the delivery of home care and are excited to see this bill introduced in the U.S. House,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi, Esq.

The bill is supported by AARP, the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, Leading Age, Allies for Independence, the National Council on Aging, Moving Health Home, the Council of State Home Care & Hospice Associations, and the Forum of State Associations.

The House companion bill sponsored by Representatives Dwight Evans (D-PA), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Brenden Boyle (D-PA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and Paul Tonko (D-NY).

Congressional Activity Reflects Strong Interest in Palliative Care

A series of bicameral and bipartisan actions in Congress in recent weeks has signalled strong support for the expansion and strengthening of palliative care in the United States. As the population ages and more people live longer with greater disability and disease, policymakers are increasingly motivated to build out the palliative care infrastructure so that…

The Home Care Community Must Rally to Support the Choose Home Care Act

Tell your members of Congress to support the Choose Home Care Act of 2021! The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 is a landmark piece of legislation for the home care community. If enacted, it would enable eligible Medicare patients to receive extended care services as an add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for…

Bipartisan Lawmakers in U.S. House Introduce Choose Home Care Act of 2021

  • Bill would expand home-based care options for Medicare beneficiaries
  • Strong endorsement of legislation from home health provider and patient advocacy communities

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives formally introduced the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 on Friday morning, legislation designed to increase access to home health care following hospitalization for eligible Medicare beneficiaries by offering a safe, high-quality post-acute option for nursing home level services in the home.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) today commend the introduction of the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and James Comer (R-KY).

The Choose Home Care Act was also introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.2562) in July by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN). GO HERE to support the Senate version of this legislation. It literally takes you only seconds to send a powerful message to your specific elected representatives.

The House companion bill is also cosponsored by Representatives Dwight Evans (D-PA) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY).

“Since being introduced in the Senate, Choose Home has received an outpouring of support from America’s home health community as well as consumer and patient advocates alike, which we believe demonstrates how important it is to increase access to safe, cost-effective care at home for Medicare beneficiaries after hospitalization. We commend Reps. Cuellar and Comer for their leadership on issues impacting the delivery of home care and are excited to see this bill introduced in the U.S. House,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi, Esq.

The bill is supported by AARP, Leading Age, Allies for Independence, the National Council on Aging, Moving Health Home, the Council of State Home Care & Hospice Associations, and the Forum of State Associations.

If enacted, the Choose Home Care Act would enable eligible Medicare patients to receive extended care services as an add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health benefit for 30 days post-discharge. This legislation would help seriously ill individuals recover safely at home, increasing patient and family satisfaction as well as significantly reducing the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other infectious diseases. The Choose Home model also promotes significant Medicare savings—up to an estimated $247 million annually— by offering nursing home level services in the home setting instead of in a skilled nursing facility or other institutional settings.

Further, recent polling data from Morning Consult show strong support for post-hospital care in the home with 94% of Medicare-aged respondents saying they would prefer health care at home to a nursing home. In the same poll, 86% of respondents expressed support for the Choose Home legislation, including 92% of Democrat respondents and 83% of Republican respondents.

PQHH Executive Director Joanne Cunningham also thanked the House sponsors and cosponsors for their leadership in advancing this legislation in the U.S. House. “We applaud Representatives Cuellar and Comer, and all the original co-sponsors, for recognizing the value of home health and the importance of advancing legislation to increase seniors’ care options after hospitalization. With their support, we are hopeful we will see the Choose Home Care Act enacted this year in order to help us better protect our nation’s vulnerable aging and sick populations while also modernizing the Medicare Home Health Benefit,” she said.

Bipartisan Lawmakers in U.S. House Introduce Choose Home Care Act of 2021

Bill would expand home-based care options for Medicare beneficiaries Strong endorsement of legislation from home health provider and patient advocacy communities A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives formally introduced the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 on Friday morning, legislation designed to increase access to home health care following hospitalization for…

NAHC to Congress: Support Patient Access to Home Infusion Therapy

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has joined a group of like-minded organizations to tell Congress to support existing bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to intravenous (IV) medications in the comfort of their own homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a spotlight on the value of home-based care…

Fight to Expand Access to Home Care

  • GO HERE to tell Congress to support Choose Home Care Act of 2021

Home care has long been a safe and effective alternative to care in an institutional setting. Medicare reform to provide viable, extended care services at home for patients who otherwise have only one choice, the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit, is long overdue.

The risks and limitations of SNFs has been vividly demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond the pandemic crisis, extended care at home also makes sense. Nearly 33% of patients who go to SNFs have identical frailty scores to those who receive care at home. The main difference in these patients is that they lack access to extended caregiver services and certain other supplemental health care supports.

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021, S. 2562, is a cost-effective and patient preferred home-based extended care benefit as a supplement to the existing home health benefit that supports patients to leave the hospital and recover at home with a mix of expanded skilled nursing, therapy, personal care, telehealth services and more. Eligible patients can choose to recover at home in a safe home environment with sufficient care tailored to meet their individual needs and reduced Medicare spending.

(Read this NAHC Report article for more information on the Choose Home Care Act of 2021.)

The Choose Home Care Act represents a tremendous step forward for Medicare beneficiaries who would prefer to recover at home, but have been previously prevented from doing so under current policy restrictions,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “Given the many benefits of accessing healthcare and support services at home, as well as the importance of protecting vulnerable patients from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, this must-pass legislation would go a long way to improve seniors’ health in a safe, cost-effective way.”

NAHC has been working hard to get this legislation introduced and we will be working just as hard to see it turned into law. However, we could use your help. The action of concerned Americans making their voice heard on Capitol Hill is powerful and it is both easy and quick. Just a few clicks of your mouse and you’ve sent a message to your elected representatives in Congress. Please do so now!

Fight to Expand Access to Home Care

  • GO HERE to tell Congress to support Choose Home Care Act of 2021

Home care has long been a safe and effective alternative to care in an institutional setting. Medicare reform to provide viable, extended care services at home for patients who otherwise have only one choice, the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit, is long overdue.

The risks and limitations of SNFs has been vividly demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond the pandemic crisis, extended care at home also makes sense. Nearly 33% of patients who go to SNFs have identical frailty scores to those who receive care at home. The main difference in these patients is that they lack access to extended caregiver services and certain other supplemental health care supports.

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021, S. 2562, is a cost-effective and patient preferred home-based extended care benefit as a supplement to the existing home health benefit that supports patients to leave the hospital and recover at home with a mix of expanded skilled nursing, therapy, personal care, telehealth services and more. Eligible patients can choose to recover at home in a safe home environment with sufficient care tailored to meet their individual needs and reduced Medicare spending.

(Read this NAHC Report article for more information on the Choose Home Care Act of 2021.)

The Choose Home Care Act represents a tremendous step forward for Medicare beneficiaries who would prefer to recover at home, but have been previously prevented from doing so under current policy restrictions,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “Given the many benefits of accessing healthcare and support services at home, as well as the importance of protecting vulnerable patients from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, this must-pass legislation would go a long way to improve seniors’ health in a safe, cost-effective way.”

NAHC has been working hard to get this legislation introduced and we will be working just as hard to see it turned into law. However, we could use your help. The action of concerned Americans making their voice heard on Capitol Hill is powerful and it is both easy and quick. Just a few clicks of your mouse and you’ve sent a message to your elected representatives in Congress. Please do so now!

Senate Approves Budget Reconciliation Guidelines

What this means for home care and hospice How you can help! Earlier this month, the United States Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution. This resolution will serve as the vehicle for the second part of President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure investment, much of which intends to strengthen the social safety net. The…

Key Home Care Spending Approved by House of Reps

On a party line vote, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced the annual appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2022, approving $119 billion in discretionary spending, an increase of $23 billion over the previous year.

(Discretionary spending does not include Medicare and Medicaid care related expenses, as that is considered mandatory spending and not subject to the annual appropriations process.)

Following is a summary of the provisions holding impact on home care and hospice providers.

Administration for Community Living

  • Home and Community-based Services: $550 million, an increase of $158 million over FY2021
  • Family Caregiver Supports: $249 million, an increase of $61 million
  • Respite Care: $14 million, an increase of $7 million
  • Falls Prevention: $5 million, consistent with FY21
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers: $23 million, an increase of $15 million
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program: $57 million, an increase of $5 million
  • Independent Living Centers: $148 million, an increase of $32 million
  • Assistive Technology: $44 million, an increase of $6.5 million.

Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals

  • $196 million, an increase from $192 million from FY21

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Program Management

  • State Survey and Certification: $472 million, an increase of $75 million from FY21

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account

  • $109 million to carry out HHS OIG fraud and abuse activities
  • $113 million to the Department of Justice to carry out fraud and abuse activities

The Senate has yet to act on their appropriations responsibilities, but current speculation suggests it is unlikely the normal appropriations process will be achieved in 2021. In that event, to stave off a government shutdown, a continuing resolution (CR) will need to be agreed to by Congress and signed by the President prior to September 30. Continuing Resolutions typically maintain current funding levels for the various programs and policies already in place.

Stay tuned to Private Duty Source for important updtes on how the appropriations process will impact home care and hospice providers and patients.