From the latest on the Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics Orthotics and Supplies Competitive Bidding changes, to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model, to legislation affecting how providers do business, HomeCare is here to keep you informed. Find news and articles from our experts to guide you as you navigate the policies that affect your business.

AAHomecare asks industry advocates to make their voices heard by reaching out to their senators and representatives

WASHINGTON—AAHomecare’s lobbying team and other home medical equipment (HME) stakeholders remain engaged in advocating for including extended 75/25 blended-rate relief among health care provisions in government spending packages needed in advance of March 1 and March 8 funding deadlines. HHS funding is subject to the March 8 deadline.

The pilot program established would test expanding the acute hospital-at-home program to include observation status patients

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the At Home Observation and Medical Evaluation (HOME) Services Act to establish a hospital-at-home pilot program that would test expanding the acute hospital-at-home program to include observation status patients.

Bill to provide up to $5,000 tax credit for family caregivers stretched to the limit

WASHINGTON—AARP applauded the reintroduction of the Credit for Caring Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide up to a $5,000 nonrefundable federal tax credit for working family caregivers who routinely cut back on their own health care or dip into their savings each year. 

AAHomecare said it will remain engaged and continue to voice support for extending the 75/25 rates through 2024

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives passed a short-term spending bill Thursday, Jan. 18 to keep the government funded until the beginning of March, buying lawmakers more time to finish the formal appropriations process. This bill does not include various health care extender measures, including a provision to continue the 75/25 blended rate for Medicare reimbursement in nonrural areas the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) reported. 

The American Association for Homecare released updates on state-related Medicaid policies and reimbursement rate increases

The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) released updates on state-related Medicaid policies and reimbursement rate increases. 

Virginia Gains in CRT, NIV and Enteral Policies

Virginia Medicaid durable medical equipment (DME) policy was updated on Jan. 1 to include several revisions sought by industry advocates. Key changes include:

Apella Health Management applied exemption incorrectly, despite workers not meeting criteria

COLUMBIA, South Carolina—A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered $139,975 in back wages from a Spartanburg home healthcare provider that wrongly exempted 29 employees from overtime and failed to pay them proper wages in violation of federal regulations.

AAHC members will attempt to build support for Medicare reimbursement relief legislation

WASHINGTON—Nearly 100 home medical equipment (HME) advocates will be meeting screen-to-screen with members of Congress and staff to build support for Medicare reimbursement relief legislation on Monday’s special Virtual Hill Day (Nov. 13) with American Association for Homecare (AAHC). The follow-up session to AAHC's Sept. 20 virtual fly-in is focused on raising awareness and understanding the importance of including measures from S. 1294 and H.R.

The briefing covered new research which highights the quality-of-life and cost savings value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit

WASHINGTON—The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), and NORC at the University of Chicago presented a Congressional briefing on new research that highlights the quality-of-life and cost savings value that the Medicare Hospice Benefit brings to patients,

The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act would provide Medicare coverage of custom breast prostheses to breast cancer survivors

WATERLOO, Iowa—U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) have reintroduced the bipartisan H.R. 4779: Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, which would provide Medicare coverage of custom breast prostheses to breast cancer survivors. Since most private insurance companies follow Medicare coverage standards, passage of this legislation would allow hundreds of thousands of women each year to choose a custom prosthesis after a mastectomy.

The two senators introduced the Veterans Homecare Choice Act to reinstate veterans’ access to homecare professionals operating as independent contractors

Due to labor shortages, veterans in Florida, Alabama and across the country are struggling to find at-home health care providers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has chosen to exclude nurse registries in the Community Care Network (CCN), which would qualify these caregivers for reimbursement. The VA’s arbitrary decision to exclude nurse registries only exacerbates the existing labor shortage in this critical field. 

Legislation by Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) would significantly move the needle on delivering patients more care in the home

WASHINGTON—Moving Health Home (MHH) voiced its support of the introduction of the bipartisan Expanding Care in the Home Act (ECHA) in the House of Representative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service have clarified guidance on telehealth, hospital at home, provider waivers and more.

Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 (PHE), declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023.