Posts Tagged ‘sequestration’

Fraud-Fighters Being Laid Off

July 1, 2013


Florida, one of the nation’s hotspots for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, is at particular risk as budget changes in Washington combine to force the layoff this year of 400 employees of the Inspector General’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Center for Public Integrity reports that the staff-shedding began in January and resulted in 1,200 complaints going without investigation last year. The sequester – automatic across-the-board cuts that went into effect because of Congress’ inability to resolve its internal disputes – is only part of the reason. (more…)

Home Care Industry Marches on Washington

March 20, 2013

lobbyforhomecareMore than a dozen Florida home care professionals descended on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. this week to lobby Congress on home care industry issues, including Medicare reimbursement rates and cuts, copays, the companionship services exemption and the employer mandate. In addition to meeting with Florida’s members of Congress, attendees also met with the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, which addresses Medicare, Medicaid and senior issues, and is chaired by Florida Senator Bill Nelson.

Before meeting with lawmakers, attendees participated in a preparation meeting to discuss the industry’s message. Attendees also heard from members of the U.S. Senate who have been champions for the home care industry, including: Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). (more…)

An Update on Sequester Reimbursment Rates from CMS

March 14, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made a clarification regarding sequester reimbursement rates. As a follow-up to the article from earlier in the week on this topic, please review the following information, which CMS recently provided.

The sequestration that takes effect on April 1, 2013 will be implemented as follows: (more…)

Mandatory Payment Reductions in the Medicare Fee-for-Service Program – “Sequestration”

March 8, 2013

The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires, among other things, mandatory across-the-board reductions in federal spending, also known as sequestration. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 postponed sequestration for 2 months. As required by law, President Obama issued a sequestration order on March 1, 2013. The Administration continues to urge Congress to take prompt action to address the current budget uncertainty and the economic hardships imposed by sequestration. (more…)

What Sequestration Means for Home Care

February 28, 2013

Tomorrow’s deadline for Congress to reduce federal spending or face an across-the-board two percent cut to federal programs comes with many unanswered questions for the impact on home health providers. According to multiple sources, the cut, also referred to as “sequestration,” is all but certain to happen.

According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had punted all questions on sequestration to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. OMB has yet to put out anything on the specific approach that sequestration will take in Medicare and any of its provider sectors. However, here is what industry leaders have pieced together from a variety of sources as to what is the most likely scenario: (more…)

Sequestration Deadline Friday: Tell Congress to Protect Home Care!

February 25, 2013

DeadlineClockMedicare home health providers are slated to feel the ax if Congress and the Obama administration fail to prevent the automatic spending cuts called “sequestration,” scheduled to begin Friday.

Under sequestration, home health reimbursement rates will be slashed by two percent, on top of the 1.4 percent cut providers have already taken under the 2012 Final Rule and $39 billion in cuts under the Affordable Care Act. Congress agreed in 2011 to cut all federal programs by two percent if it could not agree on spending cuts to reduce the deficit. (more…)

Call to Action: Medicare Cuts Likely to Come March 1

February 12, 2013

By , FierceHealthcare

Act Now - Red Button

Providers face another fiscal cliff. In only a few weeks, automatic budget cuts are set to go into effect unless Congress acts to delay or permanently fix the mandated sequestration cuts. On March 1, Medicare will reduce reimbursements by two percent, ending the two-month extension and temporary relief providers got from the New Year deal.

But according to reports, this is one fiscal cliff that Congress may go over. Though Congress and Obama didn’t intend to implement the reductions agreed on in 2011, pundits content the cuts will go into effect anyway, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Some GOP members say they would rather see the automatic cuts than another short-term fix. (more…)

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…)