Bipartisan Letter Wants to Delay Home Health Rebasing Rule

A bipartisan letter from several House Representatives is calling for the postponement and re-evaluation of a rebasing rule that will cut home health payments by 14% over the next three years.

Representatives Ralph Hall (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), David McKinley (R-WV) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) sent a letter earlier this week to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pressing for congressional action on the home health rebasing rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), according to report from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). 

The final rule from CMS, which took effect January 1, 2014, aims to cut Medicare payments to home health agencies by 3.5% each year until 2017. 

“Urgent action is needed as the Final Rule took effect January 1, 2014,” the letter writes. “Home health plays an essential role in our health care system by serving the Medicare population with skilled nursing and habilitation services in the least costly setting—the home, and it is imperative that we protect access to care through informed and reasonable rulemaking.” 

The letter is the latest in a series of Congressional concerns regarding the home health rebasing rule. 

In September, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, urging Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reconsider the rebasing proposal.

Trade groups such as NAHC and The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare have also long-urged that additional cuts to the home health industry threaten to negatively impact millions of seniors who rely on home care services.

Read the NAHC report.

Written by Jason Oliva