AAHomecare sets 2005 advocacy priorities

Sunday, February 27, 2005

February 28, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - AAHomecare last week announced its advocacy priorities for 2005. They include include:
- Protect home medical equipment and home health from further cuts in any legislation passed during 2005.
- Counter competitive bidding in light of recent reimbursement cuts, and expand the focus on the CMS program advisory oversight committee (PAOC) on competitive bidding.
- Protect the dispensing fee amount of $57 per monthly supply for inhalation drug therapies, which we worked hard to secure in 2004.
- Maintain the market basket increase and rural add-on for home health services and oppose co-payments for home health.
- Change the exclusionary rule, which unfairly compares Medicare and private charges and could exclude from Medicare providers whose charges are considered excessive based on that comparison.
- Preserve current reimbursement for stationary oxygen systems in light of efforts to move to a modality-specific payment model.
 AAHomecare will tackle additional issues and challenges as they emerge. Work in the area of home health will also focus on preserving the integrity of the home health benefit by raising awareness about homecare with MedPAC, preserving home health benefits in Medicaid, and creating opportunities in the areas of pay for performance and telehealth.
 During the year, participation from homecare providers and manufacturers will be critical. While there will be challenges, homecare has extremely important benefits to offer. Homecare delivers patient satisfaction, clinical effectiveness, and value for Americans’ healthcare dollar. That homecare can serve as a key to solving America’s healthcare crisis, AAHomecare stated in a release.
“Homecare providers provide vital services to millions of patients and have tremendous credibility with Members of Congress,” said Kay Cox, president and CEO of AAHomecare. “That’s why broad support and participation will be a key factor in the success of homecare this year.”