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AAHomecare: Fly-in can be ‘difference maker’ 

AAHomecare: Fly-in can be ‘difference maker’ 

Jay WitterWASHINGTON – Industry leaders are headed to Capitol Hill on May 15 to “rile up” lawmakers on the need to pass legislation extending 75/25 blended Medicare reimbursement rates in non-rural areas. 

While the industry’s efforts to pass reimbursement reform have received bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, the blended rates have not been included in recent spending bills

“We've continued to talk to House and Senate leadership in the committees, but they need to be riled up, they need to be talking about this, they need to be concerned,” said Jay Witter, senior vice president of public policy for AAHomecare. “If the leadership wants to do something, you know they can do it and so we're working on all options.” 

AAHomecare expects more than 50 board members and council leaders to attend the one-day event to meet with about 140 offices in the House of Representatives and Senate. 

Among the options for relief going forward is a health care package currently being discussed, but there’s no predicting its movement or timeline, Witter said. 

“It could happen before the summer, it could happen in the lame duck session after the election,” he said. “We just need to be prepared and our message is that we can’t wait until the end of the year – we need this relief now.” 

While the focus for the fly-in is reimbursement relief, stakeholders are prepared to talk about a variety of issues, including greater oversight of Medicare Advantage, the need for new codes for intermittent urinary catheters, and the disruption caused by the Change Healthcare cyberattack. 

“There are opportunities to talk about other issues, depending on the niche (the provider may serve), but the primary mission is 75/25,” said TOm Ryan, president and CEO, AAHomecare. “That’s the one that’s staring us right in the face.” 

With the 75/25 rates having already expired on Dec. 31, 2023, it’s critical for stakeholders to make themselves heard on the impact of reimbursement cuts, says Ryan. 

Providers are experiencing cuts and making changes to their businesses,” he said.  “And there are just many things that are going on just to deal with. If you can passionately present your case to your member of Congress, I think that’s really going to be a difference maker.” 


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