September 22, 2022

Home Health Community Leaders Visit Capitol Hill to Urge Delay of Home Health Cuts

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Leaders from the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare are calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan Preserving Access to Home Health Act 

Washington, DC – Home Health community leaders from the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (The Partnership) are on Capitol Hill this week urging members of Congress to take action to delay Medicare’s proposed 7.69% cut to home healthcare services – plus an estimated $2 billion “clawback” – from going into effect in 2023. Steep permanent payment cuts in the CY2023 Home Health Prospective Payment System (HHPPS) proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) threaten the stability of the entire sector, while simultaneously risking overall higher costs to patients and the healthcare system.

In response, bipartisan lawmakers in Congress have introduced the Preserving Access to Home Health Care Act (S.4605/H.R. 8581) to protect the Medicare home health benefit. If passed, this legislation would delay the proposed 7.69% cut from being implemented until 2026 and delay the additional $2 billion “clawback” cut from taking effect.

These proposed cuts put an estimated 50% of home health agencies at risk of closure, despite 91 percent of older Americans and Medicare beneficiaries expressing the highest preference for receiving short-term recovery or rehabilitation health care at home, according to a recent Morning Consult poll.

“We’re very grateful that Congress has introduced this legislation, which delays cuts to home health that pose an existential threat to the delivery of home healthcare by many agencies across the country,” said Joanne Cunningham, CEO of the Partnership. “We strongly support this legislation and urge lawmakers to co-sponsor this critical solution that will ensure the stability of home health providers and patient access to care for years to come.”

The legislation is widely supported by the people these cuts will affect the most. Data show that nine in ten voters over the age of 65, Medicare beneficiaries, and caregivers for adults over the age of 65 agree it is important for Congress to pass legislation pushing back on CMS’ proposed payment cuts to Medicare home health services.

The Preserving Access to Home Health Care Act is sponsored by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).