House Committee Drafts Bill to Cut Home Health Market Basket 1.1 Percent for 9 Years
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

On August 2, the House Ways and Means Committee issued a draft bill to reduce Medicare post-acute spending by cutting market-basket pay for all four sectors including home health. The Ways and Means Committee has also issued draft legislation to implement a $100 co-pay for home health services. Click here for additional information. Stakeholders have until August 30 to comment on the draft bill.

Specifically, the market basket proposal states that for “each fiscal year beginning with 2014 and ending with 2023, the home health market basket percentage increase [will be reduced by] 1.1 percentage points, but in no case less than zero.”

The draft post-acute reform bill is aimed at paying for part of that cost of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR or Doc Fix) replacement passed last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Click here for more information.
Additional proposals in the draft legislation include:

  • Bundling payments;
  • Creating site-neutral pay between nursing homes and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (IRFs);
  • Tightening the IRF status to the so-called 75 percent rule; and
  • Curbing hospital readmissions from nursing homes.
To read the full draft language, please click here.

On June 19, the Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees released a letter asking for stakeholders to answer questions regarding post-acute care reform. The same day the Committees’ met privately with post-acute care providers to discuss ideas for cutting Medicare spending. VNAA attended this meeting and is currently developing a response to the Congressional letter.

The Ways and Means Committee held a series of hearings on Medicare reform and highlighted proposals that appeared in President Obama's budget proposal for post-acute care providers. All of the measures in the draft bill released August 2 were in the president's most recent budget. VNAA submitted public comments on two of the hearings, to read those comments click here.
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