September 27, 2013

Home Health Cuts Strike Nerve In Congress

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Politico Pulse

Advocates for home care and the elderly have amassed boatloads of congressional support for an effort to undo major Medicare home health cuts advanced this week by the Obama administration. More than 140 House members signed a letter this week urging CMS to reconsider its calculations — a 3.5 percent cut each year from 2014 to 201, and an estimated $21.5 billion over 10 years — or risk destabilizing providers whose margins are already slim. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, warned of harmful consequences of the cuts in a separate letter. Critics of the cuts warn that CMS based its calculations on unrealistic projections of home health spending and are asking for the agency to redo the math. The Obama administration posted a draft rule enshrining the cuts, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, on Thursday. The House letter; The McConnell letter