September 19, 2014

SAVE Medicare Home Health Act Gains Support in Congress

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WASHINGTON – The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a leading coalition of skilled home healthcare providers dedicated to improving the integrity, quality, and efficiency of home health for our nation’s senior – today declared that increased support for the Securing Access Via Excellence (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Act underscores the importance of advancing legislation to repeal the 14 percent, four-year “rebasing” cut to the Medicare home health benefit implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 1.

The SAVE Medicare Home Health Act (H.R. 5110) – introduced in July by Representatives Greg Walden (OR-2) and Tom Price (GA-6) – currently has 37 sponsors and cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives including members of House Leadership, Committee Chairs, a Committee Vice-Chair, Subcommittee Chairs, and members of the House Way & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees.

The legislation halts the arbitrary, across-the-board rebasing cut for years 2015, 2016 and 2017 and replaces them with sustainable hospital readmission reforms that can achieve savings by improving care for Medicare beneficiaries and reducing avoidable healthcare spending. If enacted into law, the bill would enable millions of seniors to remain in their homes, rather than institutional settings, achieving significant savings for the Medicare program.

Leading home health champions have further noted that the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act would protect American women who data show are disproportionately impacted by the home heath cuts. An estimated 60 percent of Medicare home health beneficiaries are women and 90 percent of registered nurses, occupational therapists, and home health aides – professionals commonly employed by home health agencies – are women.

  • Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC-2) in Roll Call: “The home healthcare industry is one that is overwhelmingly comprised of women, and as such, it is women who will be disproportionately affected by these onerous cuts. In addition to the direct impact on patients, there are serious consequences for those who serve this population in a professional capacity.”
  • Former Congressman Billy Tauzin in The Hill: “Now it’s time to find out who really cares about these, the most vulnerable women in America. Who will join these thoughtful, caring Republicans in sponsoring this bill and helping to preserve home healthcare services and jobs for millions of women who would love to spend their elderly years in the warmth and comfort of their own homes, rather than being denied their home healthcare benefits and forced into expensive institutional care?”

The SAVE Medicare Home Health Act is cosponsored by Representatives Tom Price, Renee Ellmers, David McKinley, Tom Latham, Sean Duffy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Sam Graves, Charles Boustany, Erik Paulsen, Glenn Thompson, Don Young, Cory Gardner, Todd Rokita, Trent Franks, Walter Jones, Tim Walberg, Shelley Moore Capito, Cynthia Lummis, Larry Bucshon, Alan Nunnelee, Jim Sensenbrenner, Billy Long, Ken Calvert, Christopher Smith, Jeff Miller, Rodney Davis, Robert Hurt, Gregg Harper, Lee Terry, Peter King, Lou Barletta, Steve Southerland, Pete Sessions, Pete Olson, Tom Reed, Richard Hudson and Gus Bilirakis.