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Texas home care and hospice members may learn more about our positions or take action on a state or federal issue by clicking on the links below.

Federal/National Issues

Write to SUPPORT Medicare Rural Adjustment Extenders
In response to last week’s call to action, over 168 calls have already been made to legislators asking them to continue the Medicare Rural Add on that is so critical to services provided in rural areas. Congress is considering the funding bill that must be passed this Friday!  As you read this, the Senate and House are considering how they will fund CHIP and the Medicare Extenders (including the rural add on). 
 
As TAHC&H has reported, before Congress left for the year-end holidays they passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government through January 19, 2018.  This package, unfortunately, did not include several Medicare extender policies that expired at the end of December 2017, including the Rural Adjustment for Home Health.  Congress must act by January 19th to continue federal funding, and it is the goal that Medicare extenders will be included in this package. 
 
Everyone must contact their Congressional Representatives and Senators and ask that they include Medicare extenders, particularly the Home Health Rural Adjustment as part of the next funding bill.  TAHC&H has joined other health care stakeholders to send a letter to House and Senate Leadership explaining that beneficiaries' access to care may be compromised if these important Medicare policies are not extended in the near future. 
 
Further, because Congress needs additional time to negotiate a long-term FY 2018 "omnibus" budget package, we are deeply concerned that reauthorizing Medicare extenders will slip another month.  Your Senator and Representatives need to know immediately how the expiration of the rural add on affects your home health agency and the patients you serve. 
 
TAHC&H continues to advocate that extenders need to be considered now and with the next funding package (see the TAHC&H letter here), but it is critical that Members of Congress hear from their constituents.  Your voice makes and difference so click the “take action” button below and e-mail today!
Call to SUPPORT Medicare Rural Adjustment Extenders
In response to last week’s call to action, over 168 calls have already been made to legislators asking them to continue the Medicare Rural Add on that is so critical to services provided in rural areas.  We need more calls today as Congress is considering the funding bill that must be passed this Friday!  As you read this, the Senate and House are considering how they will fund CHIP and the Medicare Extenders (including the rural add on). 
 
As TAHC&H has reported, before Congress left for the year-end holidays they passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government through January 19, 2018.  This package, unfortunately, did not include several Medicare extender policies that expired at the end of December 2017, including the Rural Adjustment for Home Health.  Congress must act by January 19th to continue federal funding, and it is the goal that Medicare extenders will be included in this package. 
 
Everyone must call their Congressional Representatives and Senators and ask that they include Medicare extenders, particularly the Home Health Rural Adjustment as part of the next funding bill.  TAHC&H has joined other health care stakeholders to send a letter to House and Senate Leadership explaining that beneficiaries' access to care may be compromised if these important Medicare policies are not extended in the near future. 
 
Further, because Congress needs additional time to negotiate a long-term FY 2018 "omnibus" budget package, we are deeply concerned that reauthorizing Medicare extenders will slip another month.  Your Senator and Representatives need to know immediately how the expiration of the rural add on affects your home health agency and the patients you serve. 
 
TAHC&H continues to advocate that extenders need to be considered now and with the next funding package (see the TAHC&H letter here), but it is critical that Members of Congress hear from their constituents.  Your voice makes and difference so click the “take action” button below and call today!
 
Withdraw the Proposed Home Health Grouper Model
The 2018 CMS Proposed Rule for the Home Health Agency Prospective Payment System will, according to CMS estimates, cut about 5% from annual Medicare spending on home health -- nearly $1 billion in 2019 alone. NAHC estimates it is actually a 13% rate cut that will reduce Medicare spending on home health by nearly $3 billion in 2019. This untested Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) puts access to care at risk for millions of Americans and threatens the viability of agencies across the country. Tell CMS to withdraw HHGM and work with stakeholder groups to develop a new payment model that does not threaten access to care.
Call to Stop Medicare Cuts
Call your Senator to sign-on to the Nelson-Rubio letter to CMS requesting them not to move forward with the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM)!
Write to participate in VIRTUAL LOBBY DAY! CMS must withdraw the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) from the Home Health 2018 proposed rule
Dear TAHC&H Members,
 
Join us today for Virtual Lobby Day where across the country, in every state, home health agencies are being called upon to participate. We must fill the inbox's of every congressional office. This is why; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) proposed rule for CY 2018 includes the proposed implementation of the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), a payment reform approach that dramatically alters Medicare payment for skilled home health services, to begin as early as 2019. CMS did not solicit appropriate industry input in the development of this proposed policy. HHGM must be stopped and this is where your voice counts.
 
HHGM is currently the biggest threat home health has faced since the Interim Payment System.  For those who survived this payment change, you will remember that over 2/3rds of the industry agencies closed (Texas sustained 40% of those closures). Over the last 9 years, home health has received ongoing reductions resulting in a cumulative reduction of (41.53%) and a net rate change of (13.95%). If HHGM is allowed to move forward, the impact will be devastating to the industry.
 
ACTION NEEDED:
1.        Complete this Action Alert that generates an email to your U.S. Congressman and both U.S.Senate offices educating them on the impacts of HHGM.
2.       The email will also ask them to reach out to CMS and request that CMS withdraw the rule until such time that the industry can work with CMS to develop a more viable option.
3.       Last, develop your comments to CMS and send them on or before September 25, 2017 regarding this rule.  It is imperative that every home health agency submit comments. 
Call to participate in VIRTUAL LOBBY DAY! CMS must withdraw the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) from the Home Health 2018 proposed rule
Join us today for Virtual Lobby Day where across the country, in every state, home health agencies are being called upon to participate. We must light up the phone lines in every congressional office. This is why; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) proposed rule for CY 2018 includes the proposed implementation of the Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM), a payment reform approach that dramatically alters Medicare payment for skilled home health services, to begin as early as 2019. CMS did not solicit appropriate industry input in the development of this proposed policy. HHGM must be stopped and this is where your voice counts.
 
HHGM is currently the biggest threat home health has faced since the Interim Payment System.  For those who survived this payment change, you will remember that over 2/3rds of the industry agencies closed (Texas sustained 40% of those closures). Over the last 9 years, home health has received ongoing reductions resulting in a cumulative reduction of (41.53%) and a net rate change of (13.95%). If HHGM is allowed to move forward, the impact will be devastating to the industry.
 
ACTION NEEDED:
1.        Call your U.S. Congressman and both Senate offices to educate them on the impacts of HHGM (talking points are provided as you proceed with this action alert).
2.       Ask them to reach out to CMS and request that CMS withdraw the rule until such time that the industry can work with CMS to develop a more viable option.
3.       Last, develop your comments to CMS and send them on or before September 25, 2017 regarding this rule.  It is imperative that every home health agency submit comments. 
 
Write to Support the Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act
Representative Kenny Marchant (R-Dallas) has filed legislation making changes to documentation which will reform Face-to-Face documentation requirements and settle the backlog of claims appeals. This bill needs co-sponsors to gain support and traction!
 
Write your Member of Congress today to ask them to co-sponsor the Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act (H.R. 2663)!
Call to Support the Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act
Representative Kenny Marchant (R-Dallas) has filed legislation reforming Face-to-Face documentation requirements and addressing the backlog of appeals. This bill needs co-sponsors to gain support and traction!
 
Call your Member of Congress today to ask them to co-sponsor the Home Health Documentation and Program Improvement Act (H.R. 2663)!
Call the Senate about Changes to Medicaid
The U.S. Senate is continuing to contemplate changes to Medicaid. The U.S. House has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senate has now released a draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
 
It is vital that you contact the Senate to say how reductions to Medicaid will affect you, your patients, and your business. Call your Senators today!
Write the Senate about Changes to Medicaid
The U.S. Senate is continuing to contemplate changes to Medicaid. The U.S. House has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senate has now released a draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
 
It is vital that you contact the Senate to say how reductions to Medicaid will affect you, your patients, and your business. Write to your Senators today!
Write to Support Rural Access to Hospice (H.R. 1828/S. 980)
People in the final stages of life should have access to high quality compassionate hospice care and to the attending physician of their choice. A technicality in current law forces patients at rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to give up their primary care physician if they want hospice care. H.R. 1828/S.980 corrects this mistake by allowing rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to bill Medicare for those attending physician services.
 
Help ensure seniors have access to quality and compassionate hospice care in rural Texas. Write to your U.S. Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor the Rural Access to Hospice Act!
Call to Support the Rural Add-on in Medicare Home Health
Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a bill (S. 353) that extends the rural add-on payment in the Medicare home health benefit through 2023. The rural add-on payment currently expires on January 1, 2018, making it critical for Congress to pass this legislation so home health services delivered in rural areas can effectively continue.
 
Please call your Senators to support extension of the add-on payments by signing on as co-sponsors to the bipartisan bill (S.353).
Write to Support the Rural Add-on in Medicare Home Health
Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a bill (S. 353) that extends the rural add-on payment in the Medicare home health benefit through 2023. The rural add-on payment currently expires on January 1, 2018, making it critical for Congress to pass this legislation so home health services delivered in rural areas can effectively continue.
 
Please write your Texas Senators to support extension of the add-on payments by signing on as co-sponsors to the bipartisan bill (S. 353).
Call to Support the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (S. 260) that halts and repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB could negatively impact home health providers and Medicare beneficiaries.
 
Call to ask Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to co-sponsor the legislation!
Write to Support the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act (S. 260) that halts and repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB could negatively impact home health providers and Medicare beneficiaries.
 
Write to ask Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to co-sponsor the legislation!

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