June 13, 2024

Bipartisan House Lawmakers to CMS: Ensure Access to Home Healthcare is Among Medicare’s High Priorities

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Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) & Adrian Smith (R-NE) commended for their continued commitment to preserving access to home health for older Americans.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (the Partnership) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) commend House Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) for recently leading a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure cautioning against further cuts to Medicare home health and underscoring the importance of their legislation to preserve access to home health services.

In the letter to CMS, the House lawmakers write:

“We are concerned that CMS recently finalized a home health payment methodology that has led to steep cuts, essentially cancelling out market basket updates intended to help Medicare payments keep up with inflation. Under this methodology, Medicare home health payment rates have been stagnant over the past three years, and CMS has indicated that further cuts are planned.  

“These concerns led to the introduction of the bipartisan Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023, which would help preserve access to home health services for seniors and Americans with disabilities by preventing the continuation of these cuts.

“Home health services are a lifeline for seniors, people with disabilities, those with limited mobility, and their family members. Ensuring access to this care should be among CMS’s highest priorities.

House lawmakers on the letter to CMS are lead sponsors and co-sponsors of the Preserving Access to Home Health Act (H.R. 5159), legislation to prevent CMS from implementing additional cuts to Medicare home health. Specifically, the bill is designed to address deep cuts made to home health by CMS that began this year and will continue until at least 2028.

“The leadership of Representatives Sewell, Smith, and their co-sponsors on H.R. 5159 are essential to our advocacy this year, and we applaud them for their ongoing commitment and passion for home health and the value it adds to American families and to the Medicare program. We thank them for amplifying their message to CMS in this letter,” said Joanne Cunningham, CEO of the Partnership.

“It is critical that CMS protects access to home health services by stopping severe cuts to Medicare payment. We applaud Representatives Sewell and Smith for their continued leadership on this issue,” said Bill Dombi, President of NAHC.

Other signatories on the letter to CMS include Representatives Donald Davis (D-NC), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Don Bacon (R-NE), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Garret Graves (R-LA), and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ).

To read the House lawmaker letter to CMS, click here.