We Mourn the Loss of a Great Leader for Hospice & Home Care

Representative Jackie Walorski, Republican of Indiana, was killed in a car accident in her district last Wednesday, at the age of 58. Rep. Walorski was traveling with two aides who also died in the accident.

The head-on collision between a passenger car and a sports utility vehicle killed three people in one vehicle, and the driver of the oncoming car also died from injuries sustained in the crash.

With the House in Summer recess, Rep. Walorski, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, was in her own district meeting with constituents.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is deeply saddened by the tragic death of United States Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana, and two members of her staff, Emma Thompson, and Zachary Potts, and we extend our deepest condolences to their families.

Rep. Walorski represented the highest ideals of public service, and we shall always be grateful for her steadfast and determined support for care in the home. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Walorski championed legislation vital to the care of America’s elderly and disabled population, such as the Rural Access to Hospice Act, the Homecare for Seniors Act, and the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act.

“Congresswoman Walorski’s life was devoted to public service,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi, “and she was admired by all who knew her. We mourn the passing of a dedicated public servant to the people of Indiana and the United States.”

NAHC, Workforce Alliance in Talks with Dep. of Labor

Volunteers to help solve this pressing problem are needed! Contact Private Duty Home Care at NAHC’s Kristen Wheeler to be part of the solution The Home Care Workforce Action Alliance (HCWA), a collaboration between the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) and other stakeholders, met on Thursday, August 4 for an…

NAHC, Workforce Alliance in Talks with Dep. of Labor

The Home Care Workforce Action Alliance (HCWA), a collaboration between the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) and other stakeholders, met on Thursday, August 4 for an official kick off in Washington, D.C., following the announcement of the alliance earlier this year.

NAHC President, Bill Dombi, along with Executive Director of Private Duty at NAHC, Kristen Wheeler, joined NAHC and HCAOA board members to speak with the US Department of Labor’s Rhonda Basha about the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) federal workforce priorities and to learn about PHI’s recently released Caring for the Future Report.

Attendees were assigned as co-chairs and broken into four workgroups that will focus on:

  • Wages, Benefits, Supply and Demand for Direct Care Workers;
  • Wages, Benefits, Supply and Demand for Home Care Nurses;
  • Education, Career Paths and Elevation of the Profession for Direct Care Workers; and
  • Education, Career Paths and Elevation of the Profession for Home Care Nurses

Each workgroup is tasked with developing actionable recommendations regarding opportunities and challenges in these areas with a target date of December 2022.

Both NAHC and HCAOA welcome volunteers that are members in good standing to join a workgroup, noting that each group will contain approximately ten members, including the co-chairs.

Contact Kristen Wheeler at kwheeler@nahc.org if you are interested in getting involved.

Please stay tuned for more information on this issue.

We Mourn the Loss of a Great Leader for Home Care & Hospice

Representative Jackie Walorski, Republican of Indiana, was killed in a car accident in her district on Wednesday, at the age of 58. Rep. Walorski was traveling with two aides who also died in the accident.

The head-on collision between a passenger car and a sports utility vehicle killed three people in one vehicle, and the driver of the oncoming car also died from injuries sustained in the crash.

With the House in Summer recess, Rep. Walorski, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, was in her own district meeting with constituents.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is deeply saddened by the tragic death of United States Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana, and two members of her staff, Emma Thompson, and Zachary Potts, and we extend our deepest condolences to their families.

Rep. Walorski represented the highest ideals of public service, and we shall always be grateful for her steadfast and determined support for care in the home. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Walorski championed legislation vital to the care of America’s elderly and disabled population, such as the Rural Access to Hospice Act, the Homecare for Seniors Act, and the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act.

“Congresswoman Walorski’s life was devoted to public service,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi, “and she was admired by all who knew her. We mourn the passing of a dedicated public servant to the people of Indiana and the United States.”

We Mourn the Loss of a Great Leader for Home Care & Hospice

Representative Jackie Walorski, Republican of Indiana, was killed in a car accident in her district on Wednesday, at the age of 58. Rep. Walorski was traveling with two aides who also died in the accident. The head-on collision between a passenger car and a sports utility vehicle killed three people in one vehicle, and the…

Bill to Extend PHE Telehealth Flexibilities Advances in Congress

Legislation to extend telehealth waivers until the end of 2024 passed by the U.S. House of Representatives late last week, offering the hope that this pandemic-related flexibility could be made more permanent and outlive the public health emergency (PHE), which is set to expire in October.

The news is notable because it means that these pandemic-relief telehealth flexibilities could be untied from the public health emergency (PHE). Currently, the PHE is set to expire in October, but could receive another extension.

On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee moved the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act forward in an almost unanimous vote.

“The bill gives Congress, Medicare, and stakeholders time to produce a permanent policy with any necessary program integrity measures and benefit qualifications on a complex set of issues,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “For home health and hospice, it preserves, at least temporarily, the very valuable option of telehealth visits to meet the face-to-face encounter requirements under the respective benefits.”

Dombi has previously said that both “in home health and in hospice, [agencies] delivered telehealth services quite robustly during the pandemic for free. And so now the next expectation is [they’ll] always do it for free.”

Understandably, providers want to be paid for the telehealth services they provide and Dombi believes this may now be possible. “The extension also provides an opportunity to get additional changes in telehealth policy in place such as payment to home health agencies,” added Dombi. “It essentially guarantees there will be a future legislative vehicle to do so, whereas Congress does not have the time to consider those changes now.”

Before the PHE created circumstances leading to the current flexibility, patients were required to have an in-person doctor’s appointment before they could receive home health services.

The legislation would maintain the increase in the geographic locations where Medicare beneficiaries can receive telehealth services.

“We saw telehealth services widely and successfully adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, now we must ensure those services are here to stay,” Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said in a statement. “For seniors, traveling to a doctor’s office can be a prohibitive barrier to receiving the care they need, and we cannot allow people who have come to rely on telehealth throughout the pandemic to have that resource taken from them. This legislation brings us one step closer to permanently expanding telehealth services and allowing Americans to continue to access critical health care from the comfort of their home.”

Private Duty Should Care About CMS Rate Cuts

  • GO HERE to tell your members of Congress to support this critical legislation!
  • Big win for NAHC Advocacy & home health providers & patients!

In June the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed rule for home health services for CY2023. As part of their proposal they called for a 7.69 percent reduction to the base payment rate in order to meet a budget neutrality requirement as part of the transition to the Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). In the Balanced Budget Act of 2018 Congress set parameters for the creation of PDGM with a 30-day payment episode, removal of therapy utilization in payment determinations, and a new case-mix methodology.

That large of a payment reduction would negatively impact all provider types, as seniors would ultimately have less access to care in the home.

“We estimate that 44 percent of all home health agencies would operate at a financial loss next year of the 7.69 percent rate cut takes effect, triggering a loss a care access for the millions of people relying on home health care,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi.

“This legislation should secure continued access to care,” added Dombi. “It will also provide an extended opportunity for CMS to rethink its approach to the budget neutrality adjustment. We firmly believe that CMS has much better options to consider that do not devastate the care that millions depend on.”

The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022, S. 4605/H.R. 8581, introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives in the last week of July, would freeze CMS’ proposed 7.69 percent payment rate cut for CY2023. The swift movement of this legislation is a direct result of NAHC’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire industry and warrants attention from the private home care industry as well.

We ask every provider, regardless of service type, to urge your Senators to sign on to it. You can send a pre-drafted message by clicking here, though calls and/or personal messages are best.

Please reach out to NAHC with any questions, comments or thoughts.

Thank you for your assistance in this effort!

Bill to Extend PHE Telehealth Flexibilities Advances in Congress

Legislation to extend telehealth waivers until the end of 2024 passed by the U.S. House of Representatives late last week, offering the hope that this pandemic-related flexibility could be made more permanent and outlive the public health emergency (PHE), which is set to expire in October. The news is notable because it means that these…

Legislation to Stop Home Health Rate Cuts Introduced in House of Reps

GO HERE to tell your members of Congress to support this critical legislation! Big win for NAHC Advocacy & home health providers & patients! Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to prevent cuts to the Medicare Home Health payment rate as proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in their…

FMC 2022: Leadership and a Fight for Home Health Care

Day two of the 2022 Financial Management Conference (FMC) began with more education, but in many ways the highlight of the day was one of the most popular features of the conference every year, the leadership panel. Officially titled “Home Care and Hospice Leadership Panel: A Practical View from Outside of Washington,” The leadership panel…