HCAF Alert: Government Shutdown will not stop Medicare/Medicaid payments to home health providers

Dear Members,

Last night at midnight, the clock ran out on Congress to pass a continuing resolution to fund the Federal Government. While many government programs that are considered “non-essential” will close or stop functioning today (such as national parks and NASA research), Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements will continue to be paid to home health agencies.

Although agencies will see no interruptions in payments being made, other agencies who are seeking provider enrollment in Medicare will experience a delay in their certification.

One cut that is expected during the shutdown is the completion of significantly fewer initial and recertification surveys which could be a danger to patients.

In addition, it is also expected that the 2014 proposed rule to cut the home health Medicare rate through rebasing (which was to have a final ruling by November 2nd) will be postponed.

Despite the fact that thousands of CMS employees will be furloughed, providers should expect business as usual with regards to receiving payments. In total, the government shutdown will force a furlough of over 800,000 federal employees and over half of the Department of Health and Human Service’s 78,198 staff members.

HCAF is here to answer any questions you have about how the government shutdown might affect your agency. We will continue updating you with information as we receive it.

For more information, please contact Christopher Lipson, Director of Government Affairs and Member Advocacy.

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