Posts Tagged ‘copays’

Health Care Guide to Debt Limit Battle Includes Possible Home Health Copay

January 4, 2013

By Jennifer Haberkorn and Paige Winfield Cunningham, POLITICO

Congress’s most recent spending battle left the health industry with some nicks and scratches, but it’s leery of having to hand over even bigger savings in the next battle looming two months from now.

From hospitals to doctors to insurers to drug makers, industry players are expecting they’ll come up in the mix as lawmakers search for ways to pay for another deal to avert sequestration and increase the debt limit.

Some of the biggest ideas for cutting health care spending got pushed to the side when President Barack Obama and Congress turned their attention to cutting a smaller fiscal cliff deal. But now, Republicans say they’ll insist on real spending cuts in the debt limit-sequestration fight. And if Obama continues to resist big entitlement changes, the health care industry could be in for another round of cuts.

“In many ways, we’re kind of in the same place as before but there are just different drivers in relation to this cliff,” said Rick Pollack, executive vice president at the American Hospital Association. “A lot of the same issues are likely, unfortunately, to raise their head again.”

Here is a guide to what’s at stake for the health care industry in the next round: (more…)

Congress Avoids the “Fiscal Cliff,” Preserves Home Care Benefit (For Now?)

January 2, 2013

In the eleventh hour before Congress would have taken the country off the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late last night to avoid the consequences, which included immediate and automatic reimbursement cuts, increased debt and a possible downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. The vote in the House was 257-167, while the Senate passed the bill 89-8 earlier this week. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. (more…)

HCAF Makes Capitol Hill Visits to Discuss Potential Medicare Cuts, Copays

December 7, 2012
HCAF representatives with Senator Nelson

HCAF staff with Sen. Nelson

HCAF representatives met yesterday with key lawmakers in Congress – including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson – to discuss the so-called “fiscal cliff,” which has implications for the home health care industry. As HCAF discussed at the recent district meeting series, Congress is faced with a two-percent cut to all federal programs, including Medicare home health provider payments, the end of the Bush-era tax cuts as well as having to address the federal debt ceiling – all by the end of the year. Congress is considering multiple ways to address the fiscal cliff, including additional cuts to home care and the imposition of a Medicare home health copayment. Copay figures have ranged from $100 to $600 per 60-day episode. (more…)

Hospitals, Home Health Care Services Lobby Against Cuts in Deficit Deal

November 15, 2012

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

As lawmakers and President Barack Obama discuss possible changes to federal entitlement programs as part of a larger deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, expect provider groups to make their case loud and clear: Don’t cut us.

The American Hospital Association is circulating a list of alternatives that are well-known and included in other deficit-reduction plans, such as raising Medicare’s eligibility age, “modernizing” cost-sharing for Medicare and Medicaid and taxing junk foods and sugary drinks. (more…)

Progressive Group Recommends $385 Billion in Health Cuts

November 15, 2012

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News

Hospitals, drug companies, nursing homes and health plans would lose billions in Medicare funding over the next decade under a budget deficit cutting plan recommended by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank which has close ties to President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. (more…)

Everyone Has a Different Opinion on Medicare, Home Health Copays at Forum

October 12, 2012

Sherry West of Clearwater talks about how she wishes the United States could have a health care system citizens could be proud of during a Medicare forum co-sponsored by AARP and the Tampa Bay Times at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Holding the microphone is Michelle Cyr, associate state director for advocacy for AARP.

By Patti Ewald, Tampa Bay Times

There is only one thing everyone agrees on about Medicare: The other guy is wrong.

And it’s not just the Democrats and Republicans who feel that way.

The 50 people at a forum Thursday night on the topic listened politely as AARP state director Jeff Johnson led a discussion. But at every break in the action, hands shot in the air for a turn to talk.

The event was hosted by the Tampa Bay Times and AARP at the Poynter Institute, which owns the Times. (more…)

Home Care Industry Participates in White House Briefing on Medicare Copays, Senior Issues

July 27, 2012

Leadership of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) participated in a White House Community Leaders Briefing on Senior Issues on Monday, July 23. Members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), including NAHC, were invited to the briefing. (more…)

Senate Budget Committee Considers 20 Percent Home Health Copay

April 25, 2012

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chair, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), recently submitted a budget proposal for consideration by his committee patterned after the December 2010 Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission recommendations, which includes establishing a uniform 20 percent Medicare copay for all services, including home health and hospice. The committee met to make opening statements about the proposal; Conrad plans to reconvene the committee at a later date to discuss the plan in more detail.

The 20 percent copay for home health would mean $600 per 60 day episode of care. The average cost for hospice patients is over $10,000. This would mean a hospice copay of over $2,000. Studies have shown that copays would threaten access to care and cause a big increase in more costly hospital and nursing home care. (more…)

Smart Money: Will Home Health Care Get Pricier?

November 2, 2011

From Smart Money by Catey Hill

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday that its payments to home health care agencies would decrease by more than 2% in 2012. The question for consumers who use home health care services is this: Will these decreased payments to agencies force consumers to pay more out-of-pocket costs for home health services? (more…)

Super Committee Struggles to Find Budget Cuts – Ask Congress to Oppose Home Health Copays and Further Cuts!

October 10, 2011

Last month, HCAF called on Florida home care professionals to contact Congress in opposition to home health copayments and more cuts to Medicare home health, as recommended to Congress’ super committee by President Obama. (more…)