Lawmakers run with three-month delay

Thursday, July 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – A bill passed in the House of Representatives last week that would delay a second round of Medicare reimbursement cuts is going through a “hotline” process in the Senate, AAHomecare announced yesterday at 5:30 p.m.

As part of this process, the bill has been introduced and has been distributed to all 100 offices in the Senate. If there is no objection to the bill within 24 hours, it will be considered passed with no objections, the association says.

“With Congress set for a lengthy recess at the end of this week, passing this legislation would give our champions in the House and Senate more time to work out a longer delay when they return to work in early September,” AAHomecare stated. “The legislation will also require the approval of President Obama to become law.”

The bill would delay a second round of reimbursement cuts that went into effect on July 1 until Sept. 30. Along with a first round of cuts that went into effect Jan. 1, the cuts represent a 51.1% reduction compared to the 2015 fee schedule, according to an analysis by AAHomecare.

The bill would also instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to study the impact of bidding-derived payment adjustments on beneficiary access and providers by September 2016.

The Senate in June passed a bill that would delay the second round of cuts for one year, until July 1, 2017.

Because the House and Senate passed different versions of the bill, stakeholders were working with lawmakers to come to a compromise before their recess on July 15.