Preserving Access To Home Health Act Introduced In The House

The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023 – which aims to block cuts to home health payments – has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

In a significant step for the legislation, Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the bill in the House Tuesday. The bill was initially introduced in the Senate on June 22 by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

“The Medicare home health community strongly supports this legislation and thanks Representatives Sewell and Smith for their leadership on a Medicare issue that truly threatens access to care for the more than 3 million beneficiaries who rely on this care,” National Association for Home Care & Hospice President William A. Dombi said in a statement shared with Home Health Care News. 


After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented cuts in 2023, the agency again proposed further cuts to home health payments for 2024 on June 30. Specifically, CMS proposed to decrease aggregate home health payments by 2.2%, or an estimated $375 million less compared to 2023 levels.

“The home health community calls on Congress to ensure the stability that patients and providers urgently need,” Dombi continued. “Since Medicare has again proposed deep cuts to home health in 2024, Congress must act to protect the care their constituents prefer and want.”

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate and House last year, but ultimately didn’t gain enough traction.


Advocacy organizations like NAHC and the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) – in addition to home health providers across the country – are hoping things go differently this time around.

NAHC has also filed a lawsuit against CMS over the continued efforts to cut home health payments.

“Patients leaving the hospital need of a smooth transition home but are finding it increasingly difficult to find Medicare home health providers, signaling an immediate need for Congress to intervene and block Medicare from making such strident cuts to home health again this year,” PQHH CEO Joanne Cunningham also said in a statement. “Data suggest that Medicare’s continued cuts to home health are restricting patient access to the safest and lowest-cost care setting following a hospital stay.”

While the Preserving Access to Home Health Act would stop CMS from slashing home health payment rates, it would also order The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to take a more holistic view of home health payment rates.

MedPAC has regularly suggested home health payments be lowered, much to the chagrin of providers. That’s, in part, because MedPAC does not consider Medicare Advantage (MA) payments for home health services, which tend to be far lower than Medicare fee-for-service payments.

Failing to consider all revenue streams has led to MedPAC painting a misleading picture of the home health industry, providers and advocates believe.

Companies featured in this article: