One of the most frustrating things about politics and the legislative process is the stop/start/go/wait/yes/no nature of it. We were blowing up your inbox, your facebook, your twitter, having call-in campaigns and generally shouting from the rooftops in July, and now it’s all radio silence. What gives?
Well, there has been a lot going on behind the scenes here in DC. First and foremost, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the final rule last Friday and it included a 3 month delay in the implementation of the new payment model for routine home care, which will now start on January 1, 2016. This is undeniably in part because of your advocacy!
Beginning on January 1, 2016, routine home care payments will change to the new two-tiered rate. The new service intensity add-on (SIA) payment will also begin on January 1. Members can view the more detailed Regulatory Alert on the NHPCO website.
We’re sure you have questions, and HAN is working closely with our Congressional champions to figure out some crucial next steps. Congress is back at home for the August in-district work period now, so it’s taking us a little longer to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. We hope to have a full explainer email out to you soon that gives an in-depth look at what’s next for Hospice Advocacy in the 2nd half of 2015. In the meantime, Jonathan Keyserling, our esteemed Executive Director, has taken the time to talk through where we are now and what to expect in the near future.
If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to us directly. If you need talking points or advice for follow up on a Congressional site visit, we’re happy to have a call or email conversation with you. And make sure you are taking advance of the August Recess, and visiting/contacting your Members of Congress while they are in the district. They might be harder for us to track down, but they are right in your backyard! Help us out and make contact with them while they are in the district office.
Again, you’ll hear from us soon with a more detailed update. Until then, thanks for all you do, and have a great weekend!