October 22, 2019

Partnership Applauds RCD Delay for Home Health Services

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WASHINGTON – The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a coalition of home health providers dedicated to improving the integrity, quality, and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation’s seniors – today applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent announcement to delay the Review Choice Demonstration for home health services.

“As the home health sector prepares for the largest payment model change we have experienced in two decades, this is a wise and prudent move,” said Keith Myers, Chairman of the Partnership. “While the industry continues to prepare for the implementation of the Patient Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) and monitor the implementation challenges of other sectors, we urge CMS to use caution when implementing multiple complex policy changes on a sector at one time.”

The Partnership stressed that multiple pending CMS policy changes underscore the importance of the Home Health Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 2573 and S. 433), legislation that has generated strong bipartisan support from more than 160 Members of Congress. The legislation eliminates a destabilizing, front-loaded, eight percent behavioral assumption cut that, on top of a new payment system, will cause unnecessary fiscal stress on a changing system. The legislation also offers a phase-in mechanism that limits losses to two percent in the new system to ensure stability as the sector transitions to PDGM.

“Let’s make sure we get PDGM right, and CMS’ cautionary approach to delay RCD is a step in the right direction, added Myers. “I urge the Administration to consider adopting the changes identified in the legislation – eliminating the eight percent cut until provider data is available and a phase in mechanism to any rate reductions – which will help ensure the new payment system is implemented smoothly.”