Preserving Access to Home Health Act S. 4605/H.R. 8581
In 2018, Congress insisted on budget neutrality when transitioning from the previous home health payment system to the Patient Driven Groupings Model. Congress clearly intended for stability in this transition, aiming to avoid cuts to home healthcare. Instead of budget neutrality, CMS has instituted an unauthorized rebasing of home health payments, resulting in billions of dollars in cuts. Congress must take action now to safeguard the Medicare home health program and ensure access to care.
Home health agencies strongly oppose CMS’s CY2023 proposed payment rule. It will devastate access to home health services, in particular for rural and medically underserved patients. The home health community urges Congress to take action to stop CMS’s proposed Medicare cuts.
The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022(S.4605/H. R. 8581) would prevent proposed cuts to home health payment rates from taking effect prior to 2026. Any adjustment needed to ensure budget neutrality under the new home health payment system would still be made within the budget window. If CMS determined that payment increases were needed to achieve budget neutrality, prior to 2028, upward adjustments would be made to support access to care.