House Committee Debates Measure to Simplify Medicare Enrollment

The Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives debated a bill earlier this month to assist new Medicare beneficiaries in signing up for Medicare Part B. During the hearing “Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes,” witnesses and members of Congress considered H.R. 2477, the Beneficiary Enrollment…

House Approves Health Workplace Violence Prevention Legislation

Last week the House of Representatives passed legislation extending employee protections against violence in the workplace. Introduced as the Workplace Violence Prevention for Heath Care and Social Service Workers Act, H.R. 1309, by Rep. Joe Courtney, the vote passed with a tally of 251 in favor and 158 opposed. In introducing the bill, Rep. Courtney…

NAHC Submits Recommendations for Improved Care to Rural, Underserved to Congress

In mid-November, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting input to inform the Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force as it works to develop bipartisan legislation to improve health care outcomes within underserved communities.  The RFI includes 10 questions designed to elicit recommendations…

House of Representatives Passes Key Hospice Bill

Legislation now moves to the Senate On Monday October 28th the House of Representatives approved H.R. 647, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation that would make improvements in the training, education and provision of palliative and hospice care. NAHC has advocated for passage of this bill since it was introduced.…

Key Senate Committee Considers Funding for Community-Based Programs

Recently the Senate Appropriations Committee announced legislation funding the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education. This legislation outlines discretionary spending limits allowable to HHS as well as recommendations from the Congress on how the money is allocated within agencies and programs. This is an annual process dictating spending levels for the…

Congress Debates Bill to Automate Prior Authorization in Medicare Advantage Plans

Recently the House of Representatives’ Small Business Committee convened for a hearing on utilization management and barriers to care in small medical practices. In particular this hearing focused on the application of prior authorization within Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and the associated challenges faced by patients and providers of services due to prior authorization requirements.…

Senate Approves Key Bill to Extend Money Follows the Person, Spousal Impoverishment Protection

On Thursday, July 24, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent an extension of the Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, as well as protections against spousal impoverishment for recipients of home and community based services (HCBS). The extension provides funding through the end of the calendar year. This is the latest in…

Home Care and Hospice Capitol Hill Update

Recently two key committees in the House of Representatives took Congressional action on legislation important to home care and hospice providers. The Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing on the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act, while the Ways and Means Committee held a mark-up on the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act.…

Members of Congress Ask CMS to Stop Home Health Cuts Based on Behavioral Assumptions

GO HERE to stop home health payment cuts! A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives, including Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16), have written to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to ask her to…

House Approves Labor-HHS Spending Blueprint for FY2020

Last week the House of Representatives approved legislation that provides discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, H.R. 2740 would dole out a combined $192 billion for the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education, and their related agencies. Every year in the appropriations process specific funding levels need to…