Fight for Medicare Reform 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…

Fight for Medicare Reform 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!

Choose Home Care Act is Vital New Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Home Care

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today commend the introduction of the Choose Home Care Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation designed to increase access to care at home by providing eligible Medicare beneficiaries with an additional care option following hospitalization. This is an important Medicare policy change that will strengthen and modernize…

“Advocacy in Action”

It is busy time in Washington D.C. with a flurry of activity occurring over the last few weeks. Below, please find a brief “round-up” and update for a few key issues/topics we are actively following.

Choose Home Initiative

The Choose Home legislation continues its course towards introduction in the Senate. This legislation has been created in partnership with several key stakeholders to create a home-based skilled nursing facility benefit available through the Medicare program. All signs indicate an introduction occurring sometime on or around July 21st. We continue to communicate with our lead sponsors on the bill and will trigger grassroots advocacy efforts around the legislation as soon as we have word that it has been successfully introduced.

Draft Legislative Text

Notice of Upcoming Joint Hearing

We received notice this week of an upcoming joint hearing between the House Education and Labor HELP and Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittees on Investing in the Direct Care Workforce. The NAHC Advocacy team is currently working on gathering more information on the hearing at this time. LINK

Better Care Better Jobs Act

The Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.2210) led by Chairman Casey, Chairman Wyden, and Leader Schumer with Chair Murray, and Senators Duckworth, Hassan, and Brown aims to carry forth President Biden’s vision for investment into Medicaid home and community-based services. We are encouraged by this legislation but plan to send comments to Casey’s office about a few key concerns we have including the absence of private duty nursing being included in the provisions for the FMAP increase, and advocating for the inclusion of a direct mention of the agency model of care being included alongside the consumer-driven model, etc. Comments will be reviewed by the Advocacy Council, and we encourage those who have comments or concerns with the legislation to send them (address to erb@nahc.org)  as soon as you are able for review and inclusion in the larger set.

Summary

Legislative Language

WISH Act

The Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home Act (WISH Act) is being led by Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03). This Act is being proposed to create a catastrophic long-term care insurance program for seniors that would be self-sustaining and funded through a .3 percent increase in payroll taxes for both employees as well as employers resulting in the ability for individuals to access the fund after a specified waiting period allotting approximately $3600/month for up to 6 hours per day of paid personal care assistance. Assuming the creating of this program, there would be a 10-year period of contribution before any funds would be paid out. NAHC continues open communication with Souzzi’s office on this proposed program and we look forward to our member’s feedback on it. More information can be found through the links below.

Summary

Legislative Text

Essential Caregiver Act

NAHC is actively following the recently introduced Essential Caregiver Act H.R. 3733. This legislation led by U.S. Representatives Claudia Tenney and John B. Larson, allows essential caregivers access to facilities and other congregate living settings to provide care and support to a resident during any public health emergency. Designated essential caregivers would be assured access to their loved ones in a manner that would be consistent with all applicable health and safety protocols. We continue to review this legislation as it applies to the ability to also designated caregivers who are working with individuals to ensure their continued access during a public health emergency, recognizing of course that access for professional caregivers should always continue to be granted but this Bill may help to reinforce the access given that over the course of the pandemic various accounts have indicated there may have been challenges for some caregivers to access their clients.

Summary

Legislative Language

Become a Private Duty Home Care Advocate

The nation’s private duty home care and nursing community fulfills a unique and essential purpose in modern life. Private duty home care provides critical, quality, home-based care, and living support services for individuals young and old, helping them live full, independent, and connected lives in the comfort of wherever they call home.

NAHC is proud to be the leading and unifying voice for the home care and hospice industries helping to ensure access to the highest quality health care and services at home for all Americans. Advocacy, on behalf of the private duty home care community, is an important part of our commitment to you as our members, but also something you can play an active an integral role in by simply signing up!

Why Become a NAHC Private Duty Home Care Advocate?

By signing up to be a NAHC Private Duty Home Care Advocate, you are helping to amplify our voice, strengthen and unify our efforts to help bring access to quality home care and services to center stage and get the support and attention they need to meet the exponentially growing demand.

We encourage you to sign up as an advocate today by visiting the

NAHC Advocacy Center

Every Voice, Every Heart, Every Action

#HomeCareFirst #AdvocacyInAction

NAHC to Congress: Protect Medicare, Don’t Use Funds to Pay Non-Health Care Costs

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and a group of like-minded organizations representing America’s health providers have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), asking them to oppose an extension of mandatory Medicare sequestration as a pay-for in any infrastructure package; and…

NAHC Supports The Resetting the IMPACT Act

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has joined the other major post-acute care organizations (American Health Care Association, American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association, National Association of Long Term Hospitals, Leading Age+VNAA) to commend members of Congress for the introduction of The Resetting the IMPACT Act (TRIA) of 2021 and urge legislators to…

NAHC Submits Comments on FY2022 Hospice Proposed Rule

On April 14, 2021 the FY2022 Wage Index and Payment Rate Update, Hospice Conditions of Participation Updates, Hospice and Home Health Quality Reporting Program Requirements proposed rule was published. In addition to the proposed payment updates the rule contains numerous provisions on a wide variety of topics and solicits feedback on a number of issues.  To read a…

Key Telehealth Bill Introduced in Congress

A bipartisan and bicameral group of legislators has introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) Act of 2021 (S. 1512/H.R. 2903) in Congress. The CONNECT Act includes a variety of provisions. Those with direct impact to home care and hospice providers follow are, as follows: Health and Human Services (HHS)…

Key Telehealth Bill Introuced in Congress

GO HERE to to Tell Congress to Provide Reimbursement for Telehealth Services! Takes only a few seconds! A bipartisan group of legislators in the House of Representatives has introduced legislation to provide reimbursement for telehealth services in the Medicare Home Health benefit. Introduced as H.R. 3371, the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act is…

NAHC Submits Hospice, Palliative Care Recommendations for HCBS

Medicaid coverage of home and community-based services (HCBS) is, by far, the leading source of support for health care in the home for millions of individuals with disabilities and infirmities of all kinds.  This important area of health care has received notable focus in recent months, including as part of President Biden’s “Build Back Better”…