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National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Members Take Their Case to Capitol Hill
Date:9/12/2007

Members Oppose Proposed Cuts in Home Health Care Payments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Home care professionals gathered on Capitol Hill on September 10 and 11 for "March on Washington and Lobby Days" to oppose proposed legislative and regulatory cuts in Medicare home health payments. Participants met with their respective members of Congress and staff members and succeeded in meeting with representatives from 45 states.

Agency members and affiliated state associations who were not able to attend the march participated "virtually" by calling, faxing and e-mailing their members of Congress. Through a combination of these in-person and "virtual" visits, every state Congressional delegation was blanketed with the message: Oppose cuts to Medicare home health services!

Participants sought to obtain more signatures on congressional sign-on letters authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Russ Feingold (D-WE), Kit Bond (R-MO) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and House Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Peterson (R-PA.), Charlie Melancon (D-LA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) that oppose both legislative and regulatory cuts in home health payments (as well as opposing hospice cuts, which though not on the table for consideration by Congress at this time, may be proposed in the future.)

The regulatory and legislative cuts in Kansas, for example, would reduce home health payments in that state by over $47 million and result in 68.3 percent of rural agencies and 39.4 percent of urban agencies in Kansas having negative Medicare margins by 2011. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) promised to sign on the Senate letter opposing home health cuts.

The home care community is within a few votes of a two-thirds majority in the Senate and a majority of the House, and NAHC members are urged to continue to ask those members of Congress who have not signed on to the House or Senate letter do so.

NAHC plans to lobbying days on September 18 and October 9 during the NAHC annual meeting in Denver, CO.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice represents the interests of nearly 25,000 home health agencies, home care aide organizations and hospices as well as the caregivers provide services to more than seven million Americans each year. NAHC members believe that quality home care and hospice, a humane and cost-effective alternative to institutionalization, are the right of all Americans. Home care and hospice reinforce and supplement the care provided by family members and friends and encourage maximum independence of thought and functioning as well as the preservation of human dignity. Visit NAHC on the web at http://www.nahc.org.


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SOURCE National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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