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Reps. Sewell, Buchanan Move to Preserve Access to Home Health Care 

August 3, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
(Photo: The Social Security Administration)

U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., are attempting to preserve access to home health services for seniors and Americans with disabilities by preventing proposed cuts to home health payment rates from taking effect.

The representatives introduced H.R. 8581, the Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022, on July 29.

Over 3.5 million patients are treated by home health care services, but a repurposed policy from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would make permanent cuts of 7.69% to home health care beginning in 2023, which totals $1.33 billion, according to a release from Sewell. 

CMS also proposed that the agency would “claw back” $2 billion in temporary adjustments to home health payments for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries during the first two years of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The act would restrict CMS’ ability to impose the reductions for three years and enable the home health industry to work on a budget and better understand the reasoning behind CMS’ proposed reductions. 

It would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure stability in payments to home health agencies under the Medicare program. 

The House bill has been referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and a companion bill was introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., on July 25. 

Alexa can be reached at alexa@thewellnews.com

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