Millions of older Americans could be greatly impacted if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) goes through with its proposed rate cut to the Home Health Prospective Payment System for Calendar Year (CY) 2024. According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), CMS’ proposed permanent cut of -7.85% to the Medicare Home Health Program would result in over $18 billion in cumulative cuts over the next decade.
One of the most concerning aspects of the proposed rule revolves around its potential impact on home health reimbursement. CMS has put forward a reduction of -2.2% in reimbursement for home health agencies in 2024, equating to a staggering $375,000,000 decrease in revenue. This significant financial setback could prove detrimental to providers, casting doubt on their ability to maintain high-quality care and invest in essential resources to meet their patients’ needs.
These reimbursement cuts come at a particularly challenging time for home health agencies, which are already grappling with the hardships of escalating labor costs and increasing regulatory compliance. Any loss of funding would greatly impact home health agencies’ ability to provide quality care, including staffing and other operating expenses. Fortunately, there is an effort underway to stop the implementation of these cuts.
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023 this June. The goal of the act is to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, ensuring stability in payments to home health agencies under the Medicare program and repealing both permanent and temporary adjustments. In a crucial step for the legislation, Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the bill in the House in August. With the bill being introduced in both the Senate and House, its time to speak up and fight back.
NAHC is hosting its Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on September 19-20. The goal is for NAHC members and industry partners to advocate with Congressional lawmakers to rally support for the care-in-the-home community. You can follow our advocacy day experience on our McBee LinkedIn, X and Facebook accounts.
You may be wondering what else you can do. You can reach out to your members of Congress and encourage them to support the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023 to prevent rate reductions for home health providers.