March 19, 2021

Home Health Leaders Applaud U.S. House for Passing Bill to Prevent Across-the-Board Medicare Cuts

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Washington, D.C. –– The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a coalition of home health leaders dedicated to developing innovative reforms to improve the program integrity, quality, and efficiency of Medicare home healthcare for our nation’s seniors – commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R 1868, legislation to waive statutory pay-as-you-go (S-PAYGO) requirements for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law recently by President Biden, and extend temporary suspension of the 2% Medicare sequestration cut until December 31, 2021.

According to the Partnership, the bill will help stabilize the nation’s healthcare delivery system, including the Medicare home health sector, by preventing direct, across-the-board spending cuts from going into effect as the sector continues to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Extending sequestration relief beyond March 31, when it is currently scheduled to expire, will provide necessary stability to home health providers who are also managing the impacts of the recent PDGM payment reductions, which cut home health payment rates by 4.36% in 2020 and again in 2021.

“With the value of home health becoming increasingly evident during the COVID-19 public health emergency, it is critical to ensure both patient access and provider stability by preventing across-the-board spending cuts from taking effect,” said Joanne Cunningham, Executive Director of the Partnership. “Given the continued challenges created by the pandemic and the significant PDGM payment cut that took effect last year, sequestration relief is a vital force of stability that the entire health care sector, including home health needs. We thank House lawmakers for passing this much-needed bill and urge the Senate to promptly pass this bill to secure continued stability for home health providers—and the millions of Medicare patients we serve.”

H.R. 1868 was introduced in the U.S. House by John Yarmuth (KY-3), Chair of the House Budget Committee; Richard Neal (MA-1), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and, David Scott (GA-13), Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. PQHH urges the Senate to quickly take up and pass H.R. 1868.

To read the full text of H.R. 1868, click here.

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