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.  "We are continuing to work with our champions, as well as influential legislators and committee staff, to pass our legislation in the next funding package, which would need to be passed by March 1, and are emphasizing to members of the House and Senate that the cuts have now gone into effect and are impacting suppliers," AAHomecare said in a press release. "As currently structured, the funding bills for different government agencies would need approval by March 1 and March 8.

AAHomecare said it will remain engaged and continue to voice support for extending the 75/25 rates through 2024. It said losing the relief will be felt by a significant portion of the supplier community. "In discussions with Congressional offices, our lobbyists report that legislators and staff continue to hear from our industry and that this grassroots advocacy makes a difference," AAHomecare said. "Please follow up with your legislators next week to share the urgency of ensuring this relief is part of the next funding package."

Data from AAHomecare can be found on the specific cuts for highly utilized products in your region to share with legislators in this spreadsheet (select "Full Analysis" tab at the bottom and note column J; 2024 v 2023 Non-Rural Rate). More perspective is available in this Dec. 27 rate analysis alert, showing an average cut of 20.1% across top product categories in non-rural areas. Reach out to Gordon Barnes at gordonb@aahomecare.org for contact information for your legislators’ health care staffers or any other help in crafting and deliver your message. You can also send a pre-drafted message to your Senators and Representatives using AAHomecare's Voter Voice advocacy tool; there is an updated draft text to reflect the current state of the budget legislation, however AAHomecare encourages senders to edit the draft letter to include more details about your company and patients, as well as how the disconnect between current reimbursement rates and rising product and operational costs are affecting your business and your patients. Take action here.