In The News

HHAC Needs You To Act Today to Prioritize and Protect Home-Based Care  

Colorado legislators are considering rate increases for Medicaid, and your voice is needed to ensure home-based care remains a viable option in our communities. 

The Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado is asking legislators for $10.9 million general funds for home health to increase reimbursement rates to 90% of Medicare LUPA; increases for private duty nursing, including $1.3 million general funds to increase rates for LPN visits; and $2 million general funds to increase rates for RN visits.

Please help us by completing the form linked here. 

 

State Receives Better Budget News As It Considers Provider Rate Requests

The Joint Budget Committee heard the March 2021 Economic Forecast from Legislative Council Staff and OSPB. It will use this forecast as it finalizes the budget package, including provider rates.

The forecast contains mostly good news with signs that the worst of the recession is behind us. Due to a surprising increase in revenue collections, the General Assembly will have a $5.29 billion surplus for FY2021-22. This is a large increase from the December 2020 projection.

The surplus is from a low baseline resulting from a historically low reserve and significant cuts made last fiscal year. Most of the increase in revenue is a result of these cuts and are rollover dollars from last year. This means much of this additional money can only be used for one-time spending. It does not reflect an ongoing increase in the state's budget in out-years.

HHAC Members: Access the forecasts here (password required)

 

 

House Passes Bill To Grant Nine-Month Extension To Moratorium on Medical Payment Requester Cuts

Mar 19, 2021 12:47pm

 
The House passed a bill Friday by a vote of 246 to 175 that grants a nine-month extension of a moratorium on Medicare payment cuts imposed by the sequester. The legislation now heads to the Senate, which must pass it before the current moratorium on the 2% cuts expires on March 31.
 
Provider groups have been imploring Congress to pass another extension to the moratorium, which was first passed as part of the CARES Act. They have claimed that the moratorium needs to be extended as providers are still facing the financial impact of the pandemic. Congress first extended the moratorium on the cuts as part of a spending package approved in December.
 
“It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will extend well beyond the first quarter of this year and, absent additional congressional intervention, these harmful payment cuts will be re-imposed on April 1, 2021,” the American Medical Association wrote in a letter to congressional leaders on March 5.

 

Federal Alert: Urge Senators To Co-Sponsor Telehealth Modernization Act

One provision of this bill deals with hospice care. The provision would extend existing telehealth flexibilities for hospice providers and patients beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, improving access to care in your state and across the country.   

Since the onset of the pandemic, hospice providers have benefited from telehealth flexibilities authorized under the CARES Act which allowed hospice providers to use telehealth to conduct face-to-face encounters prior to recertification of eligibility for hospice care during the emergency period.   

Given the concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, use of technologies, where possible and appropriate, has helped limit the spread of the virus and addressed concerns around exposure risk that in-home visits may pose to these vulnerable patients and their caregivers. The majority of hospice patients receive care in the place they call home, and this bill will help keep them home and safe. 

Write to your senators to extend telehealth flexibilities for hospice care, protecting your patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond. 

 

SNF-at-Home Concept Earning ‘Very Positive Feedback’ in Congress, Among Special Interest Groups

Home Health Care News
By Robert Holly
 
An innovative care concept designed to keep patients at home and out of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is reportedly gaining ground in Congress and among special interest groups.
 
The concept — known as “Choose Home” — is a type of SNF-at-home model that leverages both medical and non-medical home care services for certain patients.
 
LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) Chairman and CEO Keith Myers provided an update on Choose Home on Wednesday, after first floating the concept during a Feb. 26 earnings call.

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