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What Do the 2018 Midterm Elections Mean for Home Care and Hospice?

Thursday, November 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
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November 8, 2018, NAHC Report 


The mid-term election dust has yet to fully settle, with a number of races still not final. Still, the results so far provide some guidance as to what the election may mean for home care and hospice.

To start with, the transfer of power to Democrats in the House of Representatives and the strengthening of the Senate control by Republicans is likely to create more gridlock overall. That may mean that the Congress focuses on relatively small policy issues in health care as major reforms are unlikely to find majority support in both Houses. That translates to significantly reduced risk of major reforms in entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while opening the door for addressing the backlog of minor reforms that enjoy bipartisan support.

There are three matters currently pending in Congress that fit into that realm. There is bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would restrict the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ power to impose any rate reductions in the form of behavioral adjustments in the recently finalized PDGM home health payment reform.

The pending measures — S. 3458, S. 3545, and H.R. 6932 — have support from members of Congress who should have influence in the new Congress. That could also mean that the legislation might be given serious consideration in the lame duck session that will begin when Congress returns from the election break. While there are no guarantees that any Medicare legislation will be in play during the lame duck session, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has already laid the groundwork to take advantage of that opportunity should it arise.

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