CHRONIC Care Act and RAISE Family Caregivers Act pass the Senate

While the majority of people were watching the updates on the Graham-Cassidy bill last week, the Senate was voting on other bills of interest to health care providers – the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act and the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act.

The RAISE Act calls for the development of a strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. It would bring together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to recommend actions that communities, providers, government, and others are taking and may take to help make the big responsibilities of caregiving a little bit easier.

The CHRONIC Care Act extends the independence at home program for 7 years; extends special needs plans; and expands the use of telehealth, as well as making a number of improvements to the Medicare Advantage program to encourage care coordination. The Senate unanimously passed this bill. Earlier in the year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the bill would generate $80 million in savings, stating that existing Medicare funds would cover the bill’s costs, thus not increasing federal spending.

The CHRONIC Care Act, which Senator Thune co-sponsored, included several Thune-supported provisions to support telehealth services, including provisions from the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 1016) and the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act (S. 431).