Posts Tagged ‘Senate Finance Committee’

Employers To Get An Extra Year To Implement Health Law Requirement On Coverage

July 3, 2013

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

The Obama administration Tuesday announced a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty.

Administration officials said the delay was in response to employers’ concerns about the law’s reporting requirements. Delaying the law’s “employer responsibility” provision would give employers more time to comply and give the government more time to consider ways to “simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law,” according to a blog post from Mark J. Mazur, the assistant secretary for tax policy at the Department of Treasury. (more…)

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on Medicare Benefit Redesign

June 28, 2013

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health recently held a hearing that looked at ways to redesign the Medicare benefit. The hearing’s witnesses were: Katherine Baicker, Ph.D.Professor, Health Economics, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health; Thomas P. Miller, J.D., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, and; Patricia Neuman, ScD., M.S., Senior Vice President, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

The National Association of Home Care & Hospice submitted testimony for the hearing, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to preserving the Medicare benefit without placing more financial responsibility on the backs of the program’s beneficiaries – particularly through the misguided idea to reintroduce the Medicare home health copayment. (more…)

Marilyn Tavenner Approved by the Senate to Lead CMS in a 91-7 Vote

May 17, 2013

Marilyn Tavenner, the acting head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was approved to become the agency’s official Administrator on a 91-7 vote on Wednesday night. The vote comes after Ms. Tavenner’s unanimous approval – by voice vote – in the Senate Finance Committee late last month, and after Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) lifted his hold on her appointment because of a dispute with the Obama Administration about funds for preventive health services being diverted to help fund the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (more…)

Senate Finance Committee Gets Update from CMS on Medicare Delivery System Reform

March 5, 2013

The Senate Finance Committee – the committee with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid – held a hearing updating committee members on the status of Medicare delivery reforms included under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The only witness during the hearing was Jonathan Blum, acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The main focus of the hearing was for Mr. Blum to update Committee Members on several pilot projects currently underway as well as other reforms – such as the transition within Medicare from a fee-for-service model to one that promotes and rewards quality, coordinated care – that were contained in the ACA. (more…)

Florida Lawmakers Appointed to Influential Health Care Committees in Congress

February 18, 2013

Calling All Advocates to Connect with Lawmakers!

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor), Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) and Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) have been appointed to congressional committees with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid matters, which include oversight over the home health benefit. (more…)

HCAF and NAHC Coordinating Efforts for Immediate Resolution of Outlier Underpayments

June 22, 2012

Since January 2010 an error in Medicare’s home health payment system related to outlier payments has created ever-increasing underpayments to providers who serve the sickest of home health patients. Outlier payments are additional payments made to the 60-day case-mix adjusted episode payments for beneficiaries who incur unusually large costs. These beneficiaries received additional services to meet needs greater than are identified through the case-mix system. In response to abuses of outlier payments, CMS imposed an agency aggregate outlier cap such that no more than 10 percent of an HHA’s total payments would be paid as outlier payments. (more…)

Congress Reaches Deal on Extending Physician Fix Without Cutting Home Health

February 17, 2012

Congress has reached a deal on legislation that would extend the payroll tax holiday, extend unemployment insurance coverage, and rescue physicians from a 27 percent cut in their Medicare fees. The $150 billion package was worked out by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI); Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). (more…)

Home-Health Firms Blasted: Senate Panel Alleges Big Providers Abused Medicare by Tailoring Patient Care to Maximize Profits

October 3, 2011

Published in The Wall Street Journal by John Carreyrou

An inquiry by the Senate Finance Committee has found that the nation’s three largest home-health companies tailored the care they provided to Medicare patients to maximize their reimbursements from the federal program.

The committee launched its investigation following an article last year in The Wall Street Journal that used Medicare-claims data to analyze the companies’ patterns of dispensing care. The article described how the companies’ Medicare patients received a high number of the most profitable home-therapy visits but few of the least profitable ones. (more…)