VNAA says MedPAC may recommend rate reductions for home health care, Hospice

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The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) says the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has again passed payment and policy recommendations for Medicare home health care and hospice that would decrease payment for the programs.

Commission members said lawmakers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have sidestepped many of the commission’s post-acute care payment proposals over the past decade and have done little to improve payment policies for the sector.

VNAA says the commission is recommending:

  • For home health care, Congress should reduce home health pay rates by 5 percent in 2018 and implement a two-year rebasing of the pay system beginning in 2019.
  • Congress should direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to revise the prospective payment system to eliminate use of the number of therapy visits as a factor in how much home health agencies are paid at the same time as the rebasing.
  • For Hospice, Congress should eliminate hospice pay increases that are set to take effect in 2018.

VNAA says it will continue to reach out to MedPAC’s staff and commissioners on the vital, high quality, cost effective, and efficient care provided by members. Questions should be directed to Joy Cameron, VNAA’s VP of Policy and Innovation.