The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a statement saying that:
“Although we are still assessing the impact of the partial government shutdown on completion of the calendar year 2014 Medicare fee for service payment regulations, we intend to issue the final rules on or before November 27, 2013, generally to be effective on January 1, 2014.
The impacted regulations include:
- Medicare Program; End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (CMS-1526-F)
- CY 2014 Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System (CMS-1601-FC)
- CY 2014 Home Health Prospective Payment System Final Rule (CMS-1450-F)
- Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2014 Final Rule with Comment Period (CMS-1600-FC)”
The proposed changes to the Home Health Prospective Payment System – or rebasing – would cut home health payments under Medicare by 14 percent over the four-year phase in period.
According to NAHC’s analysis, this huge cut comes on top of 20.15% in rate cuts since 2008 and would leave providers with an average margin of -9.77% by 2017. The CMS proposal would “rebase” payment rates with a four-year phase-in as required under the Affordable Care Act. However, the overreaching proposed rate cuts will result in payments far below the cost of services, thereby jeopardizing care to homebound elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries. The delay gives home health advocates more time to plead their case against these additional harmful cuts to Medicare’s home health benefit to policymakers and elected officials.
NAHC urges all of its members to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting and take part in its Lobbying Day activities to advocate on behalf of both home health and hospice providers and beneficiaries.
For more information on CMS’ proposed rebasing rule, please click here.
To register to attend NAHC’s Annual Meeting October 31 – November 3 in Washington, DC, please click here.