Legislation

Democrats Didn’t Achieve All Their Goals, but Inflation Reduction Act Makes Historic Medicare Changes

The giant health care, climate, and tax bill expected to pass the House on Friday and be sent to the president for his signature won’t be as sweeping as the Democrats who wrote it had hoped, but it would help millions of Americans better afford their prescription drugs and health insurance. The Inflation Reduction Act …

Democrats Didn’t Achieve All Their Goals, but Inflation Reduction Act Makes Historic Medicare Changes Read More »

Big Pharma Went All In to Kill Drug Pricing Negotiations

For decades, the drug industry has yelled bloody murder each time Congress considered a regulatory measure that threatened its profits. But the hyperbole reached a new pitch in recent weeks as the Senate moved to adopt modest drug pricing negotiation measures in the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill “could propel us light-years back into the …

Big Pharma Went All In to Kill Drug Pricing Negotiations Read More »

Rapper Fat Joe Says No One Is Making Sure Hospitals Post Their Prices

“Nobody’s enforcing that law.” Rapper Fat Joe, in a TV ad about hospital price transparency requirements that began running this spring Rapper Fat Joe takes on hospital industry executives in an advertisement, contending that many hospitals are disobeying a law that requires them to publicly post the prices they charge cash-paying patients and insurance companies …

Rapper Fat Joe Says No One Is Making Sure Hospitals Post Their Prices Read More »

Newsom Pins Political Rise on Abortion, Guns, and Health Care

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gavin Newsom is fed up with Republicans for attacking abortion rights and blocking gun regulations — and with his own Democratic Party for failing to boldly and brashly take on the conservative right and push a progressive agenda. And as California’s first-term governor positions himself as the national Democratic Party pit bull, …

Newsom Pins Political Rise on Abortion, Guns, and Health Care Read More »

Patients and Doctors Trapped in a Gray Zone When Abortion Laws and Emergency Care Mandate Conflict

Each week, Dr. Kim Puterbaugh sees several pregnant patients at a Cleveland hospital who are experiencing complications involving bleeding or infection. The OB-GYN has to make quick decisions about how to treat them, including whether to remove the dead or dying fetus to protect the health and life of the mother. Leaving in place a …

Patients and Doctors Trapped in a Gray Zone When Abortion Laws and Emergency Care Mandate Conflict Read More »

In California, Abortion Could Become a Constitutional Right. So Could Birth Control.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Californians will decide in November whether to lock the right to abortion into the state constitution. If they vote “yes” on Proposition 1, they will also lock in a right that has gotten less attention: the right to birth control. Should the measure succeed, California would become one of the first states …

In California, Abortion Could Become a Constitutional Right. So Could Birth Control. Read More »

Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to make reproductive health care more accessible to women with disabilities

Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday to assist Americans with disabilities seeking reproductive health services, hoping to reduce the barriers they may face after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion. U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced the Reproductive Health Care Accessibility Act in a …

Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to make reproductive health care more accessible to women with disabilities Read More »

Because of Texas Abortion Law, Her Wanted Pregnancy Became a Medical Nightmare

New, untested abortion bans have made doctors unsure about treating some pregnancy complications, which has led to life-threatening delays and trapped families in a limbo of grief and helplessness. Elizabeth Weller never dreamed that her hopes for a child would become ensnared in the web of Texas abortion law. She and her husband began trying …

Because of Texas Abortion Law, Her Wanted Pregnancy Became a Medical Nightmare Read More »

With Choose Home Up In The Air, Providers Consider Preparation Strategies

The home health industry at large is excited about the prospects of the Choose Home Care Act of 2021. For now, it’s been tabled in Washington, D.C., due to a variety of reasons, including it being an election year. It’s also – to some extent – been cast aside in home health providers’ minds, given …

With Choose Home Up In The Air, Providers Consider Preparation Strategies Read More »

Ad Targeting Manchin and AARP Mischaracterizes Medicare Drug-Price Negotiations

Sen. Joe Manchin and AARP “support government price-setting schemes” to divert money from Medicare to “unrelated government programs or pad big insurers’ profits.” Ad by American Commitment, July 10 A snappy political advertisement from the conservative advocacy group American Commitment bluntly charges Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with supporting a legislative plan that would drain “billions …

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Three Things About the Abortion Debate That Many People Get Wrong

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal right to abortion, things are more than a little confused. As lower courts grapple with rapidly changing state laws, patients wonder from day to day if abortion is still legal and, even if legal, whether it is still available in their state. Health …

Three Things About the Abortion Debate That Many People Get Wrong Read More »

What Home-Based Care Providers Should Know About DOJ’s Antitrust Focus, Employee Unionization

Home-based care agencies should keep a close eye on developments made by the Biden administration when it comes to antitrust laws and non-compete agreements, according to industry insiders. Partners and shareholders with the Polsinelli law firm detailed the latest updates within the Department of Justice (DOJ) on a webinar Thursday. They also covered how new …

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A Free-for-All From Readers and Tweeters, From Medical Debt to Homelessness

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. It is appalling that an article like this even has to be written. Our “healthcare” system is broken.How to get rid of medical debt — or avoid it in the first …

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Kids Want to Put Montana on Trial for Unhealthy Climate Policies

For her birthday every October, Grace Gibson-Snyder and her family explore the Lamar Valley just inside the northern border of Yellowstone National Park. Carved long ago by meandering glaciers, the valley is home to bison and bald eagles, grizzly bears and gray wolves. Gibson-Snyder has seen them all. She calls it “my favorite place.” “I …

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Rural Hospital Rescue Program Is Met With Skepticism From Administrators

In West Texas, the tiny hospital in Crosbyton has only two beds, and they’re not always occupied. “We rarely admit patients,” said Steve Beck, chief executive of the hospital, which is 40 miles east of Lubbock and serves a town of about 1,500 residents. The hospital has trouble keeping staff, and “we’re lacking in technology …

Rural Hospital Rescue Program Is Met With Skepticism From Administrators Read More »

Looming Provider Choice Home Care Regulations ‘Slap in Face’ to Smaller Providers

A new proposal in Pennsylvania that would create “unnecessary” duplication for how disabled patients choose their home care providers and receive care is causing some angst in the Keystone state. The proposal not only affects providers in Pennsylvania, but could also force patients to rely on out-of-state agencies to provide replacement care if a patient’s …

Looming Provider Choice Home Care Regulations ‘Slap in Face’ to Smaller Providers Read More »

Colorado’s Efforts Are Not Enough to Solve Its Ozone Problem

A year after health officials issued a record number of alerts for high ozone levels on Colorado’s Front Range, federal and state officials are trying to rein in the gas that can make outdoor activities a health risk. But new Colorado laws aimed at improving air quality along that urban corridor east of the Rocky …

Colorado’s Efforts Are Not Enough to Solve Its Ozone Problem Read More »

A 63-Year-Old Transgender Woman Is Caught in Montana’s Birth Certificate Dispute

At 10 years old, Susan Howard knew she was a girl, even though her birth certificate said otherwise. It wasn’t until last year, at age 62, that the Montana resident came to terms with being transgender. Howard underwent hormone therapy, had gender-affirming surgery, and began changing her name and gender on official documents. “It has …

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The Push for Abortion Lawmaking After ‘Dobbs’ Is Unique, Legal and Political Experts Say

The end of nationwide abortion protections has been met with a wave of calls from lawmakers and governors in at least a dozen states for special legislative sessions that would reshape the state-by-state patchwork of laws that now govern abortion in the U.S. “I haven’t seen so many states focusing their attention so quickly on …

The Push for Abortion Lawmaking After ‘Dobbs’ Is Unique, Legal and Political Experts Say Read More »

Las disposiciones de la nueva ley de armas y salud mental

La ley de seguridad de armas forjada a través de tensas conversaciones bipartidistas en el Senado se presentó como la primera legislación federal en 30 años para combatir el aumento de la violencia armada. Pero lo que ha pasado desapercibido es uno de sus objetivos clave: mejorar los servicios de salud mental. La cobertura periodística …

Las disposiciones de la nueva ley de armas y salud mental Read More »

Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’: A Look at Health Provisions in the New Law

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate last month has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence. But what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services. News coverage has largely centered on the law’s …

Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’: A Look at Health Provisions in the New Law Read More »

Listen: Julie Rovner Rehashes the ‘Roe’ Decision

KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on NPR/WAMU’s “1A” on June 24. She also discussed the impact of the ruling in the Carolinas on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks With Mike Collins” on June 27, and joined WBUR/NPR’s “Here & Now” on June 29 to discuss the …

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California May Require Labels on Pot Products to Warn of Mental Health Risks

Liz Kirkaldie’s grandson was near the top of his class in high school and a talented jazz bassist when he started smoking pot. The more serious he got about music, the more serious he got about pot. And the more serious he got about pot, the more paranoid, even psychotic, he became. He started hearing …

California May Require Labels on Pot Products to Warn of Mental Health Risks Read More »

Sheriffs Who Denounced Colorado’s Red Flag Law Are Now Using It

Dolores County Sheriff Don Wilson never expected to use Colorado’s red flag law when it was passed in 2019. He thought the law made it too easy to take a person’s guns away. The statute allows law enforcement officers or private citizens to petition a county court to confiscate firearms temporarily from people who pose …

Sheriffs Who Denounced Colorado’s Red Flag Law Are Now Using It Read More »

Journalists Investigate Private Equity, Medical Debt, and Mental Health Care

KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble examined how private equity hijacks health care, reporting on rural hospital closures in Missouri, on KBIA’s “All Things Considered” on June 23. Click here to hear Tribble on “All Things Considered” Read Tribble’s “Buy and Bust: When Private Equity Comes for Rural Hospitals“ KHN senior Colorado correspondent Markian Hawryluk …

Journalists Investigate Private Equity, Medical Debt, and Mental Health Care Read More »

After Two Ectopic Pregnancies, I Fear What Might Happen Without Roe v. Wade

I’ve been pregnant five times. I have one child. A son, Sam, who was born on his due date, weighing 6 pounds and 14 ounces, in 1997. My four other pregnancies didn’t go so well. After Sam, carrying a baby past the first trimester proved impossible. I had one miscarriage early in the first trimester; …

After Two Ectopic Pregnancies, I Fear What Might Happen Without Roe v. Wade Read More »

Readers and Tweeters Weigh In on America’s Medical Debt, Obesity Epidemic, and Opioid Battles

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. So, you’re American, you have a lousy health insurance plan, you get cancer. You survive cancer. But can you survive your massive medical $$$ debt?https://t.co/e6Jzw9W4SR — Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) June 17, …

Readers and Tweeters Weigh In on America’s Medical Debt, Obesity Epidemic, and Opioid Battles Read More »

Former CMS Administrator Predicts Dire Near-Term Outlook for Home Health Industry

The former U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, did not paint a rosy outlook for the home health industry this week in Chicago. In fact, hardly any of what she said evoked optimism among operators in the crowd. In regards to the economy, she said it would be her guess …

Former CMS Administrator Predicts Dire Near-Term Outlook for Home Health Industry Read More »

Tribes Show Little Interest in Offering Abortions on Reservations Despite Speculation They Could

Rachael Lorenzo started hearing the questions several weeks ago from strangers on Twitter and reporters seeking interviews: Since Native American tribes are sovereign nations, with their own laws, could they offer abortion services on Native land within states that may soon outlaw abortion? And would they? The speculation began last month, after a leaked draft …

Tribes Show Little Interest in Offering Abortions on Reservations Despite Speculation They Could Read More »

Senate Deal Raises Hopes for a Reduction in Gun Suicides

A bipartisan U.S. Senate agreement negotiated after high-profile mass shootings in Texas, New York, and Oklahoma lacks gun access restrictions that advocates say are needed to prevent such attacks. But the deal’s focus on mental health has raised hopes — and doubts — that it will help reduce gun suicides, particularly in rural Western states …

Senate Deal Raises Hopes for a Reduction in Gun Suicides Read More »

Medi-Cal Will Cover Doulas at More Than Twice California’s Initial Proposed Rate

California will cover doula services for low-income residents at more than twice the state’s initial proposed rate under a spending plan lawmakers passed last week. Some advocates welcomed the new benefit in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid health insurance program, as a step toward professionalizing this group of nonmedical birth workers. They say better pay may …

Medi-Cal Will Cover Doulas at More Than Twice California’s Initial Proposed Rate Read More »

Medical Bills Can Shatter Lives. North Carolina May Act to ‘De-Weaponize’ That Debt.

RALEIGH, N.C. — When Erin Williams-Reavis faced a $3,500 surgery bill, the hospital offered to let her pay in $300 monthly installments. It was too much, said Williams-Reavis, 44, who lives in Greensboro, about an hour west of the state capital. Her hours as a personal assistant had been cut, and she and her husband …

Medical Bills Can Shatter Lives. North Carolina May Act to ‘De-Weaponize’ That Debt. Read More »

A Proposal to Import Drugs from Other Countries Creates an Unusual Alliance in the Senate

Harmony is not often found between two of the most boisterous senators on Capitol Hill, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). But it was there at Tuesday’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup of legislation to reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration’s user fee program, which is set to expire Sept. 30. …

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Two Tennessee Abortion Clinics, Awaiting High-Court Ruling, Grapple With Uncertainty

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Corinne Rovetti is worried about what will happen to the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health if the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional right to abortion. The clinic, where she has worked for 33 years helping people across a four-state region, could close. “We’re unsure if we’ll be able to maintain services at …

Two Tennessee Abortion Clinics, Awaiting High-Court Ruling, Grapple With Uncertainty Read More »

Will the US Overcome Its Covid Complacency Even as the Threat Returns?

A few months ago, it seemed as though the country was poised to finally tame the pandemic, after two years of restrictions and tens of billions in government spending. The Biden administration in March released the first national covid-19 preparedness plan to help Americans safely “return to normal,” a strategy to live with the continued …

Will the US Overcome Its Covid Complacency Even as the Threat Returns? Read More »

Trauma Surgeons Detail the Horror of Mass Shootings in the Wake of Uvalde and Call for Reforms

When Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician in Uvalde, Texas, testified before a U.S. House committee Wednesday about gun violence, he told lawmakers about the horror of seeing the bodies of two of the 19 children killed in the Robb Elementary massacre. They were so pulverized, he said, that they could be identified only by their …

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Medicaid Weighs Attaching Strings to Nursing Home Payments to Improve Patient Care

The Biden administration is considering a requirement that the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes spend most of their payments from Medicaid on direct care for residents and limit the amount that is used for operations, maintenance, and capital improvements or diverted to profits. If adopted, it would be the first time the federal government insists that …

Medicaid Weighs Attaching Strings to Nursing Home Payments to Improve Patient Care Read More »

Lawmaker Takes on Insurance Companies and Gets Personal About His Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Scott Wiener made a startling revelation at a spring legislative committee hearing: “I was in the hospital. I experienced the most intense abdominal pain that I could even imagine.” The Democratic state senator recalled crawling up the stairs to his landlord’s apartment last July to get a ride to the hospital. The …

Lawmaker Takes on Insurance Companies and Gets Personal About His Health Read More »

A Deep Dive Into the Widening Mortality Gap Across the Political Aisle

New research indicates politics may be a matter of life or death. A study published June 7 by the BMJ examined mortality rates and voting patterns in the past five presidential elections, and found that people who lived in jurisdictions that consistently voted Democratic fared better than those that voted Republican. “We all aspire to …

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Misinformation Clouds America’s Most Popular Emergency Contraception

A brand of specialty mozzarella cheeses. A collection of natural-gas storage terminals. And America’s top-selling emergency contraception. At a moment when half of U.S. states stand poised to outlaw or sharply curtail abortion services, the last-ditch pill for women aiming to stave off an unwanted pregnancy rests in the unlikely stewardship of two private equity …

Misinformation Clouds America’s Most Popular Emergency Contraception Read More »

Listen: California Positions Itself as an Abortion Sanctuary State

While half the states in the U.S. plan to ban or restrict abortion care if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, California is positioning itself to be a sanctuary of abortion access and preparing to welcome people from around the country seeking that care. The state’s Democratic-led legislature is considering 13 bills, a package …

Listen: California Positions Itself as an Abortion Sanctuary State Read More »

AARP’s Billion-Dollar Bounty

In September, AARP, the giant organization for older Americans, agreed to promote a burgeoning chain of medical clinics called Oak Street Health, which has opened more than 100 primary care outlets in nearly two dozen states. The deal gave Oak Street exclusive rights to use the trusted AARP brand in its marketing — for which …

AARP’s Billion-Dollar Bounty Read More »

HHS Extends States’ Deadline to Utilize American Rescue Plan’s HCBS Funding

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – through the U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – announced that states would have an additional year to use funding from the American Rescue Plan to both enhance and expand home- and community-based services (HCBS). The news is major for home-based …

HHS Extends States’ Deadline to Utilize American Rescue Plan’s HCBS Funding Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Washington’s Slow Churn

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. In the wake of three high-profile mass shootings in less than a month, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have renewed negotiations over legislation that could stem gun violence. …

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Readers and Tweeters Go to the Mat on Abortion Rights and Perceived Wrongs

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Pulling No Punches on Abortion Reading the leaked draft opinion felt like a punch in the uterus (“Historic ‘Breach’ Puts Abortion Rights Supporters and Opponents on Alert for Upcoming Earthquake,” May …

Readers and Tweeters Go to the Mat on Abortion Rights and Perceived Wrongs Read More »

Despite a First-Ever ‘Right-to-Repair’ Law, There’s No Easy Fix for Wheelchair Users

Robin Bolduc isn’t the type of person who takes “no” for an answer — particularly when it comes to fixing her husband’s wheelchair. Her husband, Bruce Goguen, 69, is paralyzed from multiple sclerosis. And without his chair, he would be stuck in bed, at risk of developing pneumonia or pressure sores that could lead to …

Despite a First-Ever ‘Right-to-Repair’ Law, There’s No Easy Fix for Wheelchair Users Read More »

Abortion Opponents Take Political Risks by Dropping Exceptions for Rape, Incest, and the Mother’s Life

If it seems as though the anti-abortion movement has gotten more extreme in recent months, that’s because it has. But it’s not the first time — positions taken by both sides of the abortion debate have ebbed and flowed repeatedly in the 49 years since the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional right. Abortion opponents …

Abortion Opponents Take Political Risks by Dropping Exceptions for Rape, Incest, and the Mother’s Life Read More »

The New MADD Movement: Parents Rise Up Against Drug Deaths

Life as he knew it ended for Matt Capelouto two days before Christmas in 2019, when he found his 20-year-old daughter, Alexandra, dead in her childhood bedroom in Temecula, California. Rage overtook grief when authorities ruled her death an accident. The college sophomore, home for the holidays, had taken half a pill she bought from …

The New MADD Movement: Parents Rise Up Against Drug Deaths Read More »

After the Pandemic Hit Nursing Homes Hard, California Lawmakers Push to Tighten Licensing Rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When Johanna Trenerry found a nursing home for her husband after his stroke, she expected his stay would be temporary. He never came home. Arthur Trenerry died at Windsor Redding Care Center in Northern California in October 2020. The 82-year-old great-grandfather is among more than 9,900 California nursing home residents who have …

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Home-Modification Bill Could Lead to Lower Costs, Partnerships for Home Care Providers

A bill allowing older adults to deduct home-modification expenses from their taxes was introduced in Washington, D.C. last week. If passed, the Home Modification for Accessibility Act would provide a boost to aging-in-place efforts, perhaps spurring greater partnership between home care companies and home-modification businesses. ​​Already, home care industry leaders and home-modification stakeholders are heralding …

Home-Modification Bill Could Lead to Lower Costs, Partnerships for Home Care Providers Read More »

Census Undercount Threatens Federal Food and Health Programs on Reservations

The 2020 census missed nearly 1 of every 17 Native Americans who live on reservations, an undercount that could very well lead to insufficient federal funding for essential health, nutrition, and social programs in remote communities with high poverty rates and scarce access to services. The census counted 9.7 million people who identified as a …

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Why Eliminating GPS from EVV Could Cost Millions, Force ‘Massive’ Step Backward

The electronic visit verification (EVV) implementation process could hit a significant roadblock this summer if a Congressional bill that eliminates the use of GPS is passed by federal lawmakers. The next iteration of the landmark 21st Century Cures Act would not allow EVV systems to use GPS in order to protect privacy. If the bill …

Why Eliminating GPS from EVV Could Cost Millions, Force ‘Massive’ Step Backward Read More »

1931 State Law Makes Abortion a Felony if ‘Roe’ Falls, Warns Michigan Attorney General

When Stephanie Mejia Arciñiega drove her friend to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they were surrounded by anti-abortion protesters as soon as they tried to park. “They come up to your car super fast,” Mejia Arciñiega said. “You don’t want to run their feet over, so we had to stop and be …

1931 State Law Makes Abortion a Felony if ‘Roe’ Falls, Warns Michigan Attorney General Read More »

Senate GOP Puts Up Roadblocks to Bipartisan House Bill for Veterans’ Burn Pit Care

Thousands of military veterans who are sick after being exposed to toxic smoke and dust while on duty are facing a Senate roadblock to ambitious legislation designed to provide them care. The Senate could start work as soon as this week on a bipartisan bill, called the Honoring Our PACT Act, that passed the House …

Senate GOP Puts Up Roadblocks to Bipartisan House Bill for Veterans’ Burn Pit Care Read More »

The Families of Trans Kids in Texas Consider Their Options Amid Crackdown on Care

Cameron Wright, 16, has always seen himself as a “dude.” As a young child, Cameron didn’t have the words to explain the disconnect between how he saw himself and how the world saw him. But he knew that despite being born in a girl’s body, he was meant to be a boy. After taking reversible …

The Families of Trans Kids in Texas Consider Their Options Amid Crackdown on Care Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Leaked Abortion Opinion Rocks Washington’s World

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. People who pay attention to the Supreme Court have been expecting the justices to scale back the right to abortion when they issue their ruling on a …

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As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips

With time running out in the 2022 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers took up a bill to regulate raw milk. An amendment suddenly got tacked onto the House version of the bill, although the new wording had nothing to do with dairy. The language called for legalizing the use of strips that test drugs for fentanyl, …

As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips Read More »

Historic ‘Breach’ Puts Abortion Rights Supporters and Opponents on Alert for Upcoming Earthquake

For an eventuality that’s been forecast and fought over for decades, no one truly has any idea what would happen if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. It was fairly clear when the court heard arguments in December over whether Mississippi could ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy that at least five …

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States Watching as Massachusetts Takes Aim at Hospital Building Boom and Costs

A Massachusetts health cost watchdog agency and a broad coalition including consumers, health systems, and insurers helped block the state’s largest — and most expensive — hospital system in April from expanding into the Boston suburbs. Advocates for more affordable care hope the decision by regulators to hold Mass General Brigham accountable for its high …

States Watching as Massachusetts Takes Aim at Hospital Building Boom and Costs Read More »

Tech Titans Want the Richest Californians to Pay for Pandemic Preparedness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gabe Bankman-Fried, a former Wall Street trader, has raised $12 million from a cryptocurrency trading firm founded by his brother, Sam Bankman-Fried. Dustin Moskovitz, a billionaire who roomed with Mark Zuckerberg in college and helped found Facebook in 2004, funds a nonprofit with his wife that has ponied up $6.5 million. And …

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Physicians Are Uneasy as Colorado Collects Providers’ Diversity Data

Shaunti Meyer, a certified nurse-midwife and medical director at STRIDE Community Health Center in Colorado, doesn’t usually disclose her sexual orientation to patients. But at times it feels appropriate. After telling a transgender patient that she is a lesbian, Meyer learned the woman had recently taken four other trans women, all estranged from their birth …

Physicians Are Uneasy as Colorado Collects Providers’ Diversity Data Read More »

Judge Gives Home Health Care Providers Win Over “Unconstitutional” Bill

A circuit court judge in Michigan has ordered State Farm Insurance Co. to continue paying the home health care bills for a paralyzed Ann Arbor man. And though it’s a single case, it could be influential on a wider scale. Judge Archie Brown ruled that a 2019 auto insurance reform law that slashed payments to …

Judge Gives Home Health Care Providers Win Over “Unconstitutional” Bill Read More »

US Rep. Gaetz’s Diagnosis of What’s Driving Insulin Costs Misses the Root Cause

“The price of insulin increases as waistlines increase.” Rep. Matt Gaetz on Twitter, March 31, 2022 At the end of March, after the House passed a bill that would cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month for insured consumers, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted about why he voted against the legislation. “Insulin price …

US Rep. Gaetz’s Diagnosis of What’s Driving Insulin Costs Misses the Root Cause Read More »

Washington State Retools First-in-the-Nation Long-Term Care Benefit

Patricia Keys, 71 and a stroke survivor, needs help with many everyday activities, such as dressing and bathing. Her daughter Christina, who lives near her mom in Vancouver, Washington, cares for her in the evenings and pays about $3,000 a month for help from other caregivers. Christina Keys, 53, was thrilled three years ago when …

Washington State Retools First-in-the-Nation Long-Term Care Benefit Read More »

A Year In, Montana’s Rolled-Back Public Health Powers Leave Some Areas in Limbo

A year after a new Montana law stripped local health boards of their rulemaking authority, confusion and power struggles are creating a patchwork oversight system that may change how public health is administered long after the pandemic is over. The law, which took effect last April amid criticism of mask mandates and other covid restrictions …

A Year In, Montana’s Rolled-Back Public Health Powers Leave Some Areas in Limbo Read More »

As Part of State Program, Aveanna to Pay Family Caregivers as Employees

Thanks to a new law passed in Arizona, a major player in the home health space announced this week that it will help train and pay family members who are taking care of their loved ones at home. Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAH) announced Tuesday that it will participate in Arizona’s Family Licensed Health …

As Part of State Program, Aveanna to Pay Family Caregivers as Employees Read More »

New York State Budget Leaves Home Care Providers ‘Vulnerable’

For months, organizations and individuals alike have rallied and advocated for higher wages for home care workers in New York. The Fair Pay for Home Care Act – which gained considerable traction in the state – seems to have hit a wall. And although higher home care worker wages are a part of the state’s …

New York State Budget Leaves Home Care Providers ‘Vulnerable’ Read More »

New Laws Let Visitors See Loved Ones in Health Care Facilities, Even in an Outbreak

Jean White’s mother has dementia and moved into a memory care facility near Tampa, Florida, just as coronavirus lockdowns began in spring 2020. For months, the family wasn’t allowed to go inside to visit. They tried video chats and visits from outside her bedroom window, but White said that just upset her mom, who is …

New Laws Let Visitors See Loved Ones in Health Care Facilities, Even in an Outbreak Read More »

Despite Strong Bipartisan Support, Choose Home Facing Roadblocks

Although Congressional support continues to grow for the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 in Washington, D.C., the legislation remains in limbo. Other pieces of legislation for lawmakers have pushed the Choose Home bill down the priority list, but National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President William A. Dombi is hopeful something will …

Despite Strong Bipartisan Support, Choose Home Facing Roadblocks Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Finally, a Fix for the ‘Family Glitch’

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration this week moved to fix the so-called family glitch in the Affordable Care Act, which has prevented dependents from getting federal subsidies to buy …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Finally, a Fix for the ‘Family Glitch’ Read More »

Doctors Trying to Prescribe Abortion Pills Across State Lines Stymied by Legislation

Soon after Dr. Mai Fleming finished her medical residency in the San Francisco Bay Area, she got to work on her Texas medical license. The family medicine doctor had no intention of moving there but invested nine months to master Texas medical law, submit to background checks, get fingerprinted, and pay hundreds of dollars in …

Doctors Trying to Prescribe Abortion Pills Across State Lines Stymied by Legislation Read More »

The End of the Covid Emergency Could Mean a Huge Loss of Health Insurance

If there has been a silver lining to this terrible covid-19 pandemic, it is that the rate of Americans without health insurance dropped to a near-historic low, in response to various federal initiatives connected to the government-declared public health emergency. Now, as the pandemic’s acute phase seemingly draws to an end, millions of low-income and …

The End of the Covid Emergency Could Mean a Huge Loss of Health Insurance Read More »

Insulin Copay Cap Passes House Hurdle, But Senate Looks for a Broader Bill

The chances of passing election-year legislation to help people afford insulin — which weeks ago seemed mired in political fighting — are looking brighter as a bipartisan effort to tackle the issue takes root in the Senate. That effort is still in the early stages, but it is moving forward with the support of Senate …

Insulin Copay Cap Passes House Hurdle, But Senate Looks for a Broader Bill Read More »

Payer Influence Growing in Home-Based Care

Another in-person event came and went this week, as Home Health Care News hosted its annual Capital+Strategy event in Arlington, Virginia. And as executives, analysts, private equity representatives and others gathered to discuss the state of home-based care, news dropped that UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is acquiring LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) and combining the …

Payer Influence Growing in Home-Based Care Read More »

CMS Giving States $110 Million to Boost Money Follows the Person Programs

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday it will distribute more than $110 million to expand access to home- and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. The MFP demonstration began in 2007 and was funded by the Affordable Care Act through 2016. The goal of the …

CMS Giving States $110 Million to Boost Money Follows the Person Programs Read More »

As Red States Push Strident Abortion Bans, Other Restrictions Suddenly Look Less Extreme

What is the ultimate goal of the anti-abortion movement? It might be surprising. To the casual observer, the obvious answer is that abortion opponents want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Before Roe, states decided whether and when abortion should be legal. It’s possible opponents of abortion …

As Red States Push Strident Abortion Bans, Other Restrictions Suddenly Look Less Extreme Read More »

Colorado Doubles Down on Abortion Rights as Other States — And the High Court — Reconsider

With the Supreme Court expected to overturn or severely weaken its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, clinics in Colorado are preparing for an increase in the number of out-of-state residents seeking abortions, and lawmakers are cementing abortion access protections in state law. Colorado is one of the few states without any restrictions on when in …

Colorado Doubles Down on Abortion Rights as Other States — And the High Court — Reconsider Read More »

Home-Based Care Providers at Risk of Closing Amid Legislative Medicaid Changes

Dozens of provider organizations in Michigan have gone out of business — and more are at risk of the same fate — due to the state legislature’s decision to cut the rates of home care and residential caregivers by 45%. As a result, thousands of people in Michigan will now likely be forced into nursing …

Home-Based Care Providers at Risk of Closing Amid Legislative Medicaid Changes Read More »

Montana Is Sending Troubled Kids to Out-of-State Programs That Have Been Accused of Abuse

The high demand for treatment for children with behavioral and substance abuse problems has led Montana health officials to spend Medicaid funds to send kids, including those who are foster children and wards of the state, to residential programs in other states with less stringent oversight. Some of those children have been sent to out-of-state …

Montana Is Sending Troubled Kids to Out-of-State Programs That Have Been Accused of Abuse Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Turns 12

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, turned 12 this week, in spite of efforts to repeal it through both legislation and court action over much of its …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Turns 12 Read More »

Halting HCBS Support Is ‘Like Bringing an Umbrella to a Hurricane,’ Advocates Argue in Senate Hearing

On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), held a hearing to highlight the importance of home- and community-based services (HCBS) for seniors and people with disabilities. He also attempted to explain the broader impact that investment in the sector can have. “Underinvestment in caregiving affects all of us — …

Halting HCBS Support Is ‘Like Bringing an Umbrella to a Hurricane,’ Advocates Argue in Senate Hearing Read More »

Insulin price caps on the horizon as Senate leader plans vote

The US Senate will vote in the coming weeks on whether to introduce a $35 cap on the monthly cost of insulin to patients that was endorsed by President Joe Biden in his 2022 State of the Union address. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said yesterday that a vote on legislation which would introduce the …

Insulin price caps on the horizon as Senate leader plans vote Read More »

To Families’ Dismay, Biden Nursing Home Reform Doesn’t View Them as Essential Caregivers

When the Biden administration announced a set of proposed nursing home reforms last month, consumer advocates were both pleased and puzzled. The reforms call for minimum staffing requirements, stronger regulatory oversight, and better public information about nursing home quality — measures advocates have promoted for years. Yet they don’t address residents’ rights to have contact …

To Families’ Dismay, Biden Nursing Home Reform Doesn’t View Them as Essential Caregivers Read More »

Nearing Regulatory Cliff, Hospital-at-Home Stakeholders Throw Support Behind Waiver Extension

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver has, no doubt, ushered in a new era for hospital at home. But with calls to end the public health emergency (PHE), it is hanging in the balance. Gone are the days when the hospital-at-home model was considered a niche …

Nearing Regulatory Cliff, Hospital-at-Home Stakeholders Throw Support Behind Waiver Extension Read More »

Medicare Sequestration’s Return Puts Home Health Agencies in Financial Jeopardy

Home health agencies and other Medicare-reimbursed health care providers are just a couple weeks away from the return of sequestration. For many agencies, the restart of the 2% cut will merely be a return to normal, pre-pandemic business. For others, however, it presents another cash-flow disruption that could, at worst, put some smaller operators out …

Medicare Sequestration’s Return Puts Home Health Agencies in Financial Jeopardy Read More »

Missouri Tried to Fix Its Doctor Shortage. Now the Fix May Need Fixing.

Missouri state Rep. Tricia Derges is pushing a bill to give assistant physicians like herself a pathway to becoming fully licensed doctors in the state. Not that Derges — among the highest-profile holders of the assistant physician license created in 2014 to ease a doctor shortage — is the most persuasive advocate right now. Derges …

Missouri Tried to Fix Its Doctor Shortage. Now the Fix May Need Fixing. Read More »

Cómo evitar facturas médicas sorpresa… y las “trampas” de la nueva ley

Los pacientes ya no están obligados a pagar por la atención médica que hayan recibido por fuera de la red de su plan de salud sin su consentimiento, al ser tratados en hospitales que están dentro de su cobertura. Esto es así desde que entró en vigencia una ley federal a principios de este año. …

Cómo evitar facturas médicas sorpresa… y las “trampas” de la nueva ley Read More »

How to Avoid Surprise Bills — And the Pitfalls in the New Law

Patients are no longer required to pay for out-of-network care given without their consent when they receive treatment at hospitals covered by their health insurance since a federal law took effect at the start of this year. But the law’s protections against the infuriating, expensive scourge of surprise medical bills may be only as good …

How to Avoid Surprise Bills — And the Pitfalls in the New Law Read More »

‘American Diagnosis’: A Fuller Moon Rising — Revised ‘Violence Against Women Act’ Offers Hope

Editor’s note: This episode includes descriptions of violence that some might find disturbing. Intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence, can take the form of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, help is available.  StrongHearts Native Helpline provides culturally appropriate support and advocacy for …

‘American Diagnosis’: A Fuller Moon Rising — Revised ‘Violence Against Women Act’ Offers Hope Read More »

$1.5 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill Leaves Out Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package on Wednesday. The legislation, among other things, extends the temporary virtual care flexibilities that were put in place during the public health emergency. The bill will extend the waiver allowing hospices to perform face-to-face recertification visits through telehealth for five additional months …

$1.5 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill Leaves Out Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement Read More »

Bill Aiming to Significantly Extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver Introduced

A bill that would extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver has finally been introduced. Dubbed the “Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act,” the bill is sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), as well as Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). The bill would extend the waivers that have …

Bill Aiming to Significantly Extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver Introduced Read More »

$35 Insulin Cap Is Welcome, Popular, and Bipartisan. But Congress May Not Pass It Anyway.

Democrats in the Senate are primed this month to make their first attempt at salvaging one of the most popular elements of President Joe Biden’s stalled Build Back Better plan — the proposal to cap insulin costs at $35 a month. It might not go well. That’s true even though the idea of helping millions …

$35 Insulin Cap Is Welcome, Popular, and Bipartisan. But Congress May Not Pass It Anyway. Read More »

California Governor’s Big Promises on Drug Prices Are Slow to Materialize

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When Gov. Gavin Newsom took office in 2019, he promised to lower prescription drug costs for all Californians. But now, as Newsom nears the end of his first term, his ambitious ideas — such as requiring California to make its own insulin and forging drug partnerships across state lines — have failed …

California Governor’s Big Promises on Drug Prices Are Slow to Materialize Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Health-Heavy State of the Union

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Russia’s attacks on Ukraine took the headlines for President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union address, but Biden made a point to highlight several of …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Health-Heavy State of the Union Read More »

Fact Check: Biden Sets High Bar in 1st State of the Union Speech

President Joe Biden argued forcefully for the power of democracy while calling out Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a March 1 State of the Union address that soon turned to the domestic concerns of the economy, inflation, and covid-19.  Biden’s one-hour speech was given to a largely unmasked crowd of lawmakers, Supreme Court justices, and …

Fact Check: Biden Sets High Bar in 1st State of the Union Speech Read More »

A Dog Day at the Dentist’s: North Carolina Regulates Pups in Dentistry

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The first time 11-year-old Levi McAllister had a tooth pulled, he screamed, kicked, and struggled so much that his mom had to hold him down. So when Levi returned to Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry in January to get two more teeth pulled, dental hygienist Barb Kucera had a surprise for him: a friendly …

A Dog Day at the Dentist’s: North Carolina Regulates Pups in Dentistry Read More »

Biden’s Blanket Statement — ‘No More Surprise Billing’ — Doesn’t Quite Cover It

“Millions of hardworking Americans will no longer have to worry about unexpected medical bills.” President Joe Biden, in a Feb. 10 speech about lowering health care costs. During a Feb. 10 speech about lowering health care costs, President Joe Biden made a sweeping declaration that Americans would no longer need to worry about surprise medical …

Biden’s Blanket Statement — ‘No More Surprise Billing’ — Doesn’t Quite Cover It Read More »

Policy Momentum, PE Interest Could Spur Major Growth for PACE

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) model performed especially well amid the COVID-19 emergency. Building off of that momentum, it’s likely that the model will continue to make inroads throughout 2022. “What a great world we’re in for PACE expansion — I think it started with COVID,” Jade Gong, founder and principal …

Policy Momentum, PE Interest Could Spur Major Growth for PACE Read More »

Targeted by Politicians, Trans Youth Struggle With Growing Fear and Mental Health Concerns

Charlie Apple had experienced people calling into question his humanity, suggesting he was just a confused kid or even a moral aberration. As a transgender teen, he had accepted that his future could include discrimination, verbal abuse, and violence. The sense of peace he said he felt in transitioning physically, however, was worth the risk. …

Targeted by Politicians, Trans Youth Struggle With Growing Fear and Mental Health Concerns Read More »

Other States Keep Watchful Eye on Snags in Washington’s Pioneering Public-Option Plan

With prospects dim for the U.S. to adopt a single-payer “Medicare for All” program, health care reform advocates turned instead to an insurance plan designed by the government that could compete with private insurance plans sold on the health care exchanges. The idea behind this “public option” is that it could ultimately expand health care …

Other States Keep Watchful Eye on Snags in Washington’s Pioneering Public-Option Plan Read More »

Why Political Roadblocks Threaten Home Health Care’s Biggest Policy Objectives in 2022

Policy concerns in home-based care are considered timely and critical for those in the industry. The issue is, unfortunately, they aren’t always viewed in that light by outsiders and lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Among those concerns are the extension of the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver, adequate reimbursement for telehealth and the Choose Home …

Why Political Roadblocks Threaten Home Health Care’s Biggest Policy Objectives in 2022 Read More »

As Politics Infects Public Health, Private Companies Profit

For some counties and cities that share a public health agency with other local governments, differences over mask mandates, business restrictions, and other covid preventive measures have strained those partnerships. At least two have been pushed past the breaking point A county in Colorado and a small city in Southern California are splitting from their …

As Politics Infects Public Health, Private Companies Profit Read More »

State Constitutions Vex Conservatives’ Strategies for a Post-Roe World

Republican lawmakers in a handful of conservative states have stumbled on a roadblock to what they thought would be a clear path to setting new restrictions on abortion if the Supreme Court upends the landmark Roe v. Wade decision: right-to-privacy protections enshrined in their own state constitutions. In states where courts have ruled that their …

State Constitutions Vex Conservatives’ Strategies for a Post-Roe World Read More »

Several Government Agencies are Increasingly Targeting Home Care Agencies

The next year will be a big one for home care. There will be increased opportunities for agencies with a larger national spotlight shone on them. Meanwhile, there are both legal threats and advocacy efforts that should be top of everyone’s mind, Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) CEO Vicki Hoak said during Home Care …

Several Government Agencies are Increasingly Targeting Home Care Agencies Read More »

Why Millions on Medicaid Are at Risk of Losing Coverage in the Months Ahead

The Biden administration and state officials are bracing for a great unwinding: millions of people losing their Medicaid benefits when the pandemic health emergency ends. Some might sign up for different insurance. Many others are bound to get lost in the transition. State Medicaid agencies for months have been preparing for the end of a …

Why Millions on Medicaid Are at Risk of Losing Coverage in the Months Ahead Read More »

Wage Mandates for Home Care Workers Gain Steam Behind Societal Support, Advocacy

Home-based care workers are generally underpaid. That’s something almost everyone in the industry can agree on. Getting them more money, however, is another issue. Regardless, the labor situation is worsening. A survey published by the John A. Hartford Foundation Wednesday found that Americans strongly support raised wages for direct care workers. Specifically, 73% of survey …

Wage Mandates for Home Care Workers Gain Steam Behind Societal Support, Advocacy Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: FDA Takes Center Stage

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The FDA is still lacking a Senate-confirmed leader, but the agency is at the center of several major policy battles. Lawmakers this year must renew the bill …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: FDA Takes Center Stage Read More »

Skirmish Between Biden and Red States Over Medicaid Leaves Enrollees in the Balance

When Republican-led states balked at expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s administration tossed them a carrot — allowing several to charge monthly premiums to newly eligible enrollees. Republicans pushed for the fees to give Medicaid recipients “skin in the game” — the idea they would value their coverage more — and …

Skirmish Between Biden and Red States Over Medicaid Leaves Enrollees in the Balance Read More »

Missouri’s War on Public Health Shows Extent of National Rift

ST. LOUIS — Republican Missouri state Sen. Mike Moon believes that covid-19 vaccinations, especially among children, should cease until the long-term effects are known. He points to the research of sources of covid misinformation like America’s Frontline Doctors and Dr. Robert Malone, a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast. He himself is not vaccinated. So, on …

Missouri’s War on Public Health Shows Extent of National Rift Read More »

Former VP Al Gore Sees Home-Based Care as ‘Central’ to a Sustainable Health Care System

Former Vice President Al Gore believes he is as big of a proponent for home-based care as he is the environment. Well, maybe not quite. But he did express a lot of enthusiasm for delivering health care in the home at Home Care 100 Monday, both with surface-level compliments and more in-depth arguments. Specifically, Gore …

Former VP Al Gore Sees Home-Based Care as ‘Central’ to a Sustainable Health Care System Read More »

‘A Fundamental Disconnect in Policy’: Wage Hike Mandates Leave Home-Based Care Providers Behind

The home care battles currently taking place in New York are local in theory. But every provider in the industry should be paying attention. The Fair Pay For Home Care Act has reached a Democratic majority in the state Senate, with additional support from the AARP and other advocacy organizations. The legislation, which would raise …

‘A Fundamental Disconnect in Policy’: Wage Hike Mandates Leave Home-Based Care Providers Behind Read More »

Mental Health Therapists Seek Exemption From Part of Law to Ban Surprise Billing

Groups representing a range of mental health therapists say a new law that protects people from surprise medical bills puts providers in an ethical bind and could discourage some patients from care. The therapists take no issue with the main aim of the legislation, which is to prevent patients from being blindsided by bills, usually …

Mental Health Therapists Seek Exemption From Part of Law to Ban Surprise Billing Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Know Your ‘No Surprises’ Rights

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Click here for a transcript of the episode. On Jan. 1, Americans woke up with some new protections from giant medical bills.  Meet the No Surprises Act. It’s a new law that protects patients from one of the worst experiences the U.S. health care system has to …

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Know Your ‘No Surprises’ Rights Read More »

Financing Confusion, Safety Concerns Could Thwart Choose Home’s Chances

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 is the collective and proverbial baby of many home health stakeholders. And for good reason: It could allow more patients to recover in the home under Medicare – and change how the entire health care system works for older adults. Naturally, there are detractors, including skilled nursing facility …

Financing Confusion, Safety Concerns Could Thwart Choose Home’s Chances Read More »

Georgia Bill Aims to Limit Profits of Medicaid Managed-Care Companies

ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers will consider a bill that could force the state’s Medicaid managed-care insurers to repay millions of dollars if their spending on medical care doesn’t reach a certain threshold. The bipartisan bill, introduced Jan. 26 by the powerful Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, is focused on improving the state’s mental …

Georgia Bill Aims to Limit Profits of Medicaid Managed-Care Companies Read More »

Después de un aborto espontáneo, trabajadoras no tienen ni tiempo libre ni ayuda de las empresas

Durante tres años, Rachel Makkar dijo que prosperó en su trabajo como agente de bolsa y gestora de activos en J&B Building Company, en Colorado. Su desempeño laboral era sobresaliente y aseguró que así lo reflejaban sus evaluaciones. Pensaba que era “el mejor lugar en el que había trabajado”. Pero todo cambió en agosto. Tras …

Después de un aborto espontáneo, trabajadoras no tienen ni tiempo libre ni ayuda de las empresas Read More »

What the Federal ‘No Surprises Act’ Means in California

Betty Chow, a Los Angeles resident, had a cervical disc replaced in August 2020 at a surgery center that was part of her Anthem Blue Cross PPO network. Thirteen months later, she was blindsided by a bill for nearly $2,000 from the anesthesiologist who was on her surgical team but was not contracted with her …

What the Federal ‘No Surprises Act’ Means in California Read More »

After Miscarriages, Workers Have Few Guarantees for Time Off or Job-Based Help

For three years, Rachel Makkar said, she thrived in her job as a broker and asset manager at J&B Building Co. in Colorado. She excelled at her work — she said her performance reviews noted that — and she thought it was “the best place I’ve ever worked.” That changed in August. After trying for …

After Miscarriages, Workers Have Few Guarantees for Time Off or Job-Based Help Read More »

LeadingAge Details COVID-19 Relief Requests in Letter to Congress, Biden

LeadingAge on Tuesday shared a letter urging President Biden to supply relief for home-based care agencies and other aging services providers. The letter was a response to the increasing death rate from the Omicron variant. “The Omicron surge is compounding existing challenges driven by the pandemic,” Katie Smith Sloan, the president and CEO of LeadingAge, …

LeadingAge Details COVID-19 Relief Requests in Letter to Congress, Biden Read More »

Vaccine Wars Ignite in California as Lawmakers Seek Stronger Laws

SACRAMENTO — California is poised to become the front line of America’s vaccination wars. State lawmakers are drafting the toughest covid-19 vaccine legislation in the country, backed by a new pro-vaccine lobbying force promising to counter anti-vaccine activists who have threatened government officials and shut down public meetings across the state. Legislators want to require …

Vaccine Wars Ignite in California as Lawmakers Seek Stronger Laws Read More »

State Laws Aim to Regulate ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ but Loopholes Remain

Five days after Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a law meant to provide stronger oversight of the more than 100 residential youth treatment programs operating in the state, a 12-year-old boy arrived at one of them, Provo Canyon School. Before long, he was forced into seclusion, denied communication with his family and given antipsychotic medication …

State Laws Aim to Regulate ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ but Loopholes Remain Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contagion Confusion

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The covid-19 pandemic is now entering its third year, and the ever-evolving health advice to combat an ever-evolving virus is leaving Americans more cranky and confused than …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contagion Confusion Read More »

Listen: How the New ‘No Surprises’ Law Tackles Unexpected Medical Bills

The federal No Surprises Act, which aims to eliminate unexpected out-of-network medical bills, took effect Jan. 1, and KHN correspondents hit the airwaves to explain the new law. KHN senior correspondent Julie Appleby appeared on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” on Sunday to give background on why the law was necessary: Surveys showed that up to 1 …

Listen: How the New ‘No Surprises’ Law Tackles Unexpected Medical Bills Read More »

DOL Oversight Ramping Up, But Home Care Industry ‘Still a Little Behind’ on Compliance

Home-based care providers have had to deal with an uncertain legal and regulatory environment for almost two years at this point. It’s created bottom-line challenges as well as workplace ones. Cheryl Stanton, the chief legal and government affairs officer at BrightStar Care, experienced this first hand when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) …

DOL Oversight Ramping Up, But Home Care Industry ‘Still a Little Behind’ on Compliance Read More »

Congress Grants Home Health Agencies ‘Incredibly Valuable’ Extra Time on Medicare Sequestration

The Senate on Thursday voted 59-35 to pass a bill delaying statutory cuts to the Medicare program. The House passed its own version of the legislation on Dec. 7. Specifically, the bill extends a “holiday” around Medicare sequestration, which translates to a 2% cut for home health agencies and other Medicare-reimbursed providers. Once President Joe …

Congress Grants Home Health Agencies ‘Incredibly Valuable’ Extra Time on Medicare Sequestration Read More »

House Passes Bill to Delay Medicare Cuts, PAYGO Reductions

Home health stakeholders that have been on pins and needles about the return of possible Medicare cuts saw the first step toward securing further delay on Tuesday. By a vote of 222-212, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that delays 6% in Medicare cuts set to go into effect Jan. 1. Specifically, the …

House Passes Bill to Delay Medicare Cuts, PAYGO Reductions Read More »

Oncology Doctors Say the Build Back Better Act Will Slash Cancer Care Funding — A Skewed Argument

“An independent analysis shows that payments for cancer care will be slashed by close to 45% causing cancer clinics to close and massively raising your healthcare costs” A radio ad sponsored by the Community Oncology Alliance, Nov. 29. An advertisement from the Community Oncology Alliance, part of a $1.6 million campaign running both on radio …

Oncology Doctors Say the Build Back Better Act Will Slash Cancer Care Funding — A Skewed Argument Read More »

Senior Care Groups Urge Senate to Pass Build Back Better ‘Without Shaving Off $1’

A month after the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better bill, LeadingAge and other aging services organizations are urging lawmakers not to reduce the legislation’s investments into home- and community-based services. “The Senate is considering the most important legislation in a generation for older Americans,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, …

Senior Care Groups Urge Senate to Pass Build Back Better ‘Without Shaving Off $1’ Read More »

New California Law Eases Aid-in-Dying Process

During her three-year battle with breast cancer, my wife, Leslie, graciously endured multiple rounds of horrifically toxic treatment to eke out more time with our two young children. But after 18 cancer-free months, the disease returned with a vengeance in June 2003. It fractured her bones and invaded her spinal canal, bathing her brain in …

New California Law Eases Aid-in-Dying Process Read More »

A Tale of Two Medicaid Expansions: Oklahoma Jumps In, While Missouri Lags

Temp worker James Dickerson applied for Medicaid because it will be cheaper than his current health plan. Home health aide Sharon Coleman looks forward to having coverage that will cover a hospital stay. Incoming medical student Danielle Gaddis no longer worries a trip to the doctor will leave her in debt. All three are among …

A Tale of Two Medicaid Expansions: Oklahoma Jumps In, While Missouri Lags Read More »

‘Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst’: How Providers Should Plan Around the CMS Mandate Freeze

The initial health care worker vaccine mandate laid out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was a cause for confusion for some home health providers when it was announced officially in early November. Now that a nationwide injunction has been issued by a federal judge with key deadlines rapidly approaching, that confusion …

‘Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst’: How Providers Should Plan Around the CMS Mandate Freeze Read More »

‘I Can Go Anywhere’: How Service Dogs Help Veterans With PTSD

It was supper time in the Whittier, California, home of Air Force veteran Danyelle Clark-Gutierrez, and eagerly awaiting a bowl of kibble and canned dog food was Lisa, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. Her nails clicking on the kitchen floor as she danced about, Lisa looked more like an exuberant puppy than the highly trained …

‘I Can Go Anywhere’: How Service Dogs Help Veterans With PTSD Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending bill passed the House last week, but the legislation faces a new and different set of hurdles in the …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House Read More »

Home-Based Care Advocates Celebrate Build Back Better Plan’s House Passage, Urge Senate to Follow Suit

The Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan – which includes an array of support for home-based care and senior services – took a significant step Friday. A $1.9 trillion bill got the necessary amount of votes to make it through the U.S. House of Representatives. The next stop will be the Senate. “Today’s historic vote …

Home-Based Care Advocates Celebrate Build Back Better Plan’s House Passage, Urge Senate to Follow Suit Read More »

Inside the Home Health Industry’s Choose Home Lobbying Push

Home health stakeholders have been lobbying for the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 ever since it was introduced in the U.S. Senate at the end of July. That push has now reached a critical juncture. Beginning last week, the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) and its provider members have been holding virtual meetings …

Inside the Home Health Industry’s Choose Home Lobbying Push Read More »

NAHC’s Dombi: ‘Bumpy Road’ Ahead for OSHA, CMS Vaccine Mandates

The vaccine mandates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have received mixed reactions from in-home care providers. But the bottom line is that each will cause at least some employee movement, whether it’s forcing workers out of the health care sector completely or to …

NAHC’s Dombi: ‘Bumpy Road’ Ahead for OSHA, CMS Vaccine Mandates Read More »

‘Layer Upon Layer of Regulation’: Breaking Down the CMS Vaccination Mandate

Since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its interim emergency regulation relating to the federal government’s vaccine mandate last Thursday, more clarity has come to the surface. Specifically, CMS has made clear what health care providers are included, what individuals can be exempt and how the mandate will be enforced. Sign up …

‘Layer Upon Layer of Regulation’: Breaking Down the CMS Vaccination Mandate Read More »

Medicare drug price negotiation gets new life under Democrat-brokered deal

Not all drugs will be subject to price negotiation under the revised legislation. But the agreement sets up a framework enabling Medicare to negotiate the prices of medicines that have been on the market for a long time, and also caps the monthly price of insulin, which has been a flashpoint of drug price debate.

Gutted Version of Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Still Includes $150 Billion for In-Home Care

President Joe Biden on Thursday went to bat for a significantly trimmed down version of his Build Back Better plan, a massive economic proposal that seeks to expand the country’s social safety net. “No one got everything they wanted, including me,” the president said in his public remarks. “But that’s what compromise is. That’s consensus. …

Gutted Version of Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Still Includes $150 Billion for In-Home Care Read More »

Bill aiming to streamline MA prior authorization gains House majority support

The bill, if enacted into law, will establish an electronic prior authorization process and require Medicare Advantage plans to report on their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials to CMS. It has 227 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, indicating strong support from both Republicans and Democrats.

LHC Group CEO Keith Myers: Choose Home Winning Capitol Hill Support, But SNF Stakeholders Still Need Convincing

Since its introduction in the U.S. Senate in July, the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 has been a hot topic among home health leaders. Most have overwhelmingly embraced the legislation as a major step forward for home-based care. One of these leaders is none other than Keith Myers, chairman and CEO of LHC Group …

LHC Group CEO Keith Myers: Choose Home Winning Capitol Hill Support, But SNF Stakeholders Still Need Convincing Read More »

Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Others Form ‘Advanced Care at Home Coalition’

Some of the most premier health care organizations in the U.S. are coming together to form the “Advanced Care at Home Coalition.” The newly formed entity will vie for legislation that will allow more patients to receive hospital-level care in their homes moving forward. Many of the provisions that have allowed health systems and home-based …

Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Others Form ‘Advanced Care at Home Coalition’ Read More »

Q&A: How Will California’s New 988 Mental Health Line Actually Work?

NEED HELP? If you or someone you know is in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. In September 2020, Congress passed bipartisan legislation creating a three-digit national suicide hotline: 988. Think of it as an alternative to 911 …

Q&A: How Will California’s New 988 Mental Health Line Actually Work? Read More »

Health Industry Wields Power in California’s High-Stakes Battle to Lower Health Care Costs

SACRAMENTO — Gavin Newsom put California’s health care industry on notice when he was a candidate for governor, vowing in 2018 to go after the insurance companies, doctors and hospitals that leave many Californians struggling with enormous medical bills and rising insurance premiums. He pledged to lead California’s single-payer movement, a high-stakes liberal dream that …

Health Industry Wields Power in California’s High-Stakes Battle to Lower Health Care Costs Read More »

Senator Bob Casey: Nation Is ‘Long Overdue for an Investment in Caregiving’

Over the past couple weeks, moderate Democrats have threatened to walk away from the White House’s $3.5 trillion economic package, which President Joe Biden hopes to use to strengthen America’s at-home care infrastructure for seniors and individuals with disabilities. As a candidate, Biden proposed spending $400 billion on home- and community-based services (HCBS) to help …

Senator Bob Casey: Nation Is ‘Long Overdue for an Investment in Caregiving’ Read More »

‘It’s a Huge Advantage’: How Georgetown Home Care Became 100% Vaccinated

This article is an exclusive feature available as a part of your subscription to HHCN + When Georgetown Home Care (GHC) mandated its workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in early August, it got an immediate reply from one worker. “I quit,” the worker said. While John Bradshaw, the company’s CEO, still believed it was …

‘It’s a Huge Advantage’: How Georgetown Home Care Became 100% Vaccinated Read More »

New Law Bans Harassment at Vaccination Sites, but Free Speech Concerns Persist

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It’s now illegal in California to harass people on their way into a vaccination clinic, under a law signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. But First Amendment experts continue to raise legal questions about the law’s constitutionality, including its definition of harassment. The new law, which takes effect immediately, makes it a …

New Law Bans Harassment at Vaccination Sites, but Free Speech Concerns Persist Read More »

Landmark Choose Home Bill Introduced in the House

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives early Friday morning. The legislation was previously introduced in the Senate at the end of July. If enacted, the landmark Choose Home legislation would create an add-on payment to the traditional Medicare Home Health Benefit, allowing providers to mix in …

Landmark Choose Home Bill Introduced in the House Read More »

‘An Arm and a Leg’: How One State Protects Patients From Hospital Lawsuits

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In Maryland, hospitals had been suing people — taking them to court and garnishing wages — even though these patients legally qualified for financial assistance, also known as charity care. Those lawsuits are now illegal, because of the state’s new Medical Debt Protection Act. But in many other …

‘An Arm and a Leg’: How One State Protects Patients From Hospital Lawsuits Read More »

Needle Exchanges Are Targeted by Eco-Rooted Lawsuits. A New California Law Will Stop That.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — For more than 30 years, public health officials and nonprofits in California have provided clean hypodermic needles to people who use them to inject drugs. For nearly that entire time, opponents have accused the free needle programs of promoting drug use and homelessness. But recently, opponents have deployed a novel strategy …

Needle Exchanges Are Targeted by Eco-Rooted Lawsuits. A New California Law Will Stop That. Read More »

Home-Based Care Providers Face Major Losses Ahead of Vaccine Mandates

Sign up for HHCN + to read this exclusive content. Individual Membership $400 per year Purchase Group 2–5 members$380 per year* Purchase Need more than 5 members? Contact us for more information. * per member Already a member? Login The post Home-Based Care Providers Face Major Losses Ahead of Vaccine Mandates appeared first on Home …

Home-Based Care Providers Face Major Losses Ahead of Vaccine Mandates Read More »

LHC Group, Visiting Nurse Health System CEOs Open Up About HHVBP

The proposed expansion of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model has been a hot topic in the home health industry over the last few months. But while a nationwide mandatory value-based reimbursement system would certainly cause disruption, some operators believe the best path forward is to simply stay focused on high-quality care in the …

LHC Group, Visiting Nurse Health System CEOs Open Up About HHVBP Read More »

‘There’s a Lot of Unmet Need’: Addressing Long HCBS Waitlists

Home- and community-based services (HCBS) are a way to fill gaps in care for seniors with complex medical conditions, with Medicaid being the main source of coverage for long-term services and supports (LTSS). As of 2020, over 2.5 million individuals received HCBS services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Still, there are hundreds of …

‘There’s a Lot of Unmet Need’: Addressing Long HCBS Waitlists Read More »

States Take Emergency Measures to Combat Staffing Shortages, as Providers Ponder Boosters

Efforts to improve vaccination rates against COVID-19 continue to be a major story for home-based care providers. They’ve also become a major pain point for providers operationally, depending on where they are located. On Monday, New York’s vaccine mandate for home-based care workers – and all other health care workers – took effect. Meanwhile, booster …

States Take Emergency Measures to Combat Staffing Shortages, as Providers Ponder Boosters Read More »

From the FDA’s Empty Seat to Chock-Full ICUs, Journalists Recap the Week’s Stories

KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed why President Joe Biden hasn’t yet nominated a permanent leader for the Food and Drug Administration on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday. Click here to hear Pradhan on “Morning Rush“ Read Pradhan’s “Public Health Experts ‘Flabbergasted’ That Biden Still Hasn’t Picked an FDA Chief” KHN freelancer Nick Ehli discussed Montana’s …

From the FDA’s Empty Seat to Chock-Full ICUs, Journalists Recap the Week’s Stories Read More »

The Biggest Regulatory, Policy ‘Wins’ for Home-Based Care in Recent Memory

Trade groups, providers and individuals have always advocated on behalf of the home health and home care sectors. In doing so, stakeholders have confronted both wins and losses along the way. Some of those milestones are old. Some of them — especially with the onset of the ground-shaking COVID-19 pandemic last year — are fresh …

The Biggest Regulatory, Policy ‘Wins’ for Home-Based Care in Recent Memory Read More »

InnovAge CEO Maureen Hewitt: PACE Tailwinds Stronger Than Ever

InnovAge (Nasdaq: INNV) went public earlier this year with a $350 million IPO. It has since set its sights on expansion. The largest Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organization in the country, InnovAge is bullish on its ability to do just that, thanks to both internal confidence and also external, regulatory tailwinds. …

InnovAge CEO Maureen Hewitt: PACE Tailwinds Stronger Than Ever Read More »

Increasing LTSS Access Could Cost Up to $12.8 Billion Per Year

Access to long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the U.S. remains limited, which currently puts seniors in need in a bind. Their options are often such: spend down on savings and assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, or rely on unpaid family care or other informal services. A new study from the Washington, D.C.-based …

Increasing LTSS Access Could Cost Up to $12.8 Billion Per Year Read More »

Report: To Address Long-Term Care Shortages in the US, Major HCBS Investments Are Needed

Home-based care advocacy comes from both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C., these days. Now, a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is shining further light on the need for the delivery of health care in the home. The Bipartisan Policy Center is a think tank that promotes bipartisan solutions to the …

Report: To Address Long-Term Care Shortages in the US, Major HCBS Investments Are Needed Read More »

‘For Many Providers, It’s Welcome News’: Breaking Down the White House Vaccine Mandate

After President Joe Biden announced Thursday a new, six-pronged approach to his administration’s COVID-19 strategy that requires most home health workers to be vaccinated against the virus, many questions and concerns remain. More clarity is likely to come to light as specific agencies deal with the next steps following the mandate’s release, like the Department …

‘For Many Providers, It’s Welcome News’: Breaking Down the White House Vaccine Mandate Read More »

HCBS Funding Is Now in the Congressional Crosshairs

The $400 billion that the Biden administration wanted for strengthening the nation’s home- and community-based services (HCBS) infrastructure is likely in the crosshairs of Congress. Currently, President Joe Biden and senior Democrats are working to figure out what’s included in the large spending legislation they hope to pass through the budget reconciliation process. Early estimates …

HCBS Funding Is Now in the Congressional Crosshairs Read More »

‘The Fittest Survive’: HHVBP Expansion Could Drive Home Health Consolidation

In the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed payment rule for 2022, the attention-grabber was the expansion of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model, the details of which excited some providers and left others concerned. While the specifics of the expansion plan were being discussed during the public comment period, however, …

‘The Fittest Survive’: HHVBP Expansion Could Drive Home Health Consolidation Read More »

PDGM’s Base Rates Set 5.76% Below Budget-Neutral Levels, Analysis Finds

The public comment period for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) home health proposed payment rule closed last week. Since then, the industry has voiced more substantive concerns with the rule than initially expected. The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH), for instance, recently released its own perspective, which was driven by …

PDGM’s Base Rates Set 5.76% Below Budget-Neutral Levels, Analysis Finds Read More »

‘We Are Losing Excellent Direct Care Staff’: Home-Based Care Providers Report Vaccine-Mandate Blowback

Hundreds of in-home care workers in Rhode Island have resigned from their posts due to the state’s mandatory vaccine policies, the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care announced Tuesday. That, in turn, has jeopardized patient care in the state. An emergency declaration was made Aug. 17, requiring all licensed health care workers in Rhode Island …

‘We Are Losing Excellent Direct Care Staff’: Home-Based Care Providers Report Vaccine-Mandate Blowback Read More »

Staffing Shortages Force Home Health Giant Bayada to Deny 64% of Referrals in Key Markets

Aging services providers are holding their collective breath as Congress moves toward a vote on the budget reconciliation package, which could designate massive amounts of money to home- and community-based services. And those funds are more than needed, a group of leaders said during a Tuesday press conference hosted by the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization …

Staffing Shortages Force Home Health Giant Bayada to Deny 64% of Referrals in Key Markets Read More »

‘Mass Exodus’ of Nursing Home Staff Likely to Impact Home Health Providers

The Biden administration announced last week that all nursing home staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19, or operators would risk losing Medicare or Medicaid funding. That prompted concern among nursing home stakeholders and rumors that home health providers’ staff may not be far behind. Since the announcement, survey data is beginning to prove why vaccinating …

‘Mass Exodus’ of Nursing Home Staff Likely to Impact Home Health Providers Read More »

‘This Is the Biggest Break We’ve Had’: CMS Makes Major Alteration to Review Choice Demonstration

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a major update to the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD), one that home health providers will undoubtedly be thrilled about. On Sept. 1, agencies in Florida and North Carolina are set to roll out RCD. One of the major complaints as the date loomed was …

‘This Is the Biggest Break We’ve Had’: CMS Makes Major Alteration to Review Choice Demonstration Read More »

‘It’s Inherently Unfair’: Home Health Stakeholders Slam Portions of the Proposed Payment Rule

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed home health payment rule came out in late June. The public comment period closes Friday, which means providers are running out of time to voice their concerns. Overall, providers seem to be generally happy about the proposed rule, which includes a 1.7% — or $310 …

‘It’s Inherently Unfair’: Home Health Stakeholders Slam Portions of the Proposed Payment Rule Read More »

Report: Uninsured rate holds steady at 11% during pandemic despite job losses

The increase in access to public health insurance coverage — via legislation like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that prevents states from disenrolling Medicaid beneficiaries — helped offset the loss of employer-sponsored insurance, the report from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows.

CMS Study Shows Astonishing Disparity Between COVID-19 Cases in Nursing Homes and the Community

A recently published study by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is sure to add more fuel to the fire for the “Choose Home” initiative and other movements aiming to bring more care into the home. Specifically, the study found that although nursing home residents only represent 2% of the Medicare population, …

CMS Study Shows Astonishing Disparity Between COVID-19 Cases in Nursing Homes and the Community Read More »

‘It’s Just Wrong on Every Level’: Home Health Insiders Object to Review Choice Demonstration Details

The rollout of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Review Choice Demonstration (RCD) has been anything but smooth.  The initiative implemented to reduce improper billing and fraud in select states has been plagued by issues like COVID-19-related delays and missteps by CMS and its contractors, among others.  Despite the flaws, the demo …

‘It’s Just Wrong on Every Level’: Home Health Insiders Object to Review Choice Demonstration Details Read More »

Mandatory Vaccine Announcement Causes Confusion Among Home-Based Care Providers

Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that all of the state’s health care workers are now required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus by Sept. 27. The announcement specifically listed nursing home, “adult care,” long-term care facility and hospital workers as those who must receive vaccinations by that date. While adult care …

Mandatory Vaccine Announcement Causes Confusion Among Home-Based Care Providers Read More »

Veterans Push for Medical Marijuana in Conservative South

RALEIGH, N.C. — Each time Chayse Roth drives home to North Carolina, he notices the highway welcome signs that declare: “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State.” “That’s a powerful thing to claim,” said Roth, a former Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who served multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now he says he’s calling on the …

Veterans Push for Medical Marijuana in Conservative South Read More »

EvergreenHealth Home Care, Alivia Ready to Support Choose Home Legislation

Home-based care leaders are encouraged by the Choose Home Care Act of 2021’s introduction into the U.S. Senate — and what it could mean for the home health industry if it’s ultimately enacted. Brent Korte, Keith Myers and Susan Ponder-Stansel are among them. The trio spoke about the recently introduced legislation Monday at the National …

EvergreenHealth Home Care, Alivia Ready to Support Choose Home Legislation Read More »

Community-Based Palliative Care, Choose Home Top List of Current Home Health Policy Priorities

National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President Bill Dombi touched on the importance of recent community-based palliative care legislation during a Sunday night policy update at the Washington, D.C.-based industry group’s 2021 Financial Management Conference. The bulk of his update, however, was spent urging industry insiders to band together and throw their support …

Community-Based Palliative Care, Choose Home Top List of Current Home Health Policy Priorities Read More »

Choose Home Bill Looks to Make Home Health the Center of the Health Care World

The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. Senate less than 72 hours ago, but it’s already creating major buzz in the senior care world. In a nutshell, Choose Home is bipartisan legislation that seeks to create an add-on payment for home health providers taking care of certain patients otherwise eligible …

Choose Home Bill Looks to Make Home Health the Center of the Health Care World Read More »

SNF-Diversion Bill ‘Choose Home’ Introduced, Projected to Save Up to $247M Annually

The home health industry reached a major legislative milestone on Thursday, with U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) teaming up to introduce a new bill to support in-home care alternatives to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Endorsed by the AARP and supported by a long list of home-based care advocates, the Choose Home …

SNF-Diversion Bill ‘Choose Home’ Introduced, Projected to Save Up to $247M Annually Read More »

Despite Formidable Challenges, PACE Leaders Keep Expansion Dreams Alive

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) concept has gained significant business and policy momentum over the past several months, with recent research also highlighting just how successful programs were at avoiding COVID-19 deaths compared to other care settings. Despite that traction and the model’s clear benefits, PACE still faces a long list …

Despite Formidable Challenges, PACE Leaders Keep Expansion Dreams Alive Read More »

Aging Services Providers Slam Possible PRF Plan

Aging services providers are pushing back against a possible plan to help pay for part of the nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill by using unused Provider Relief Fund (PRF) money. Members of Congress were reportedly close to finalizing an infrastructure agreement on Sunday, but ultimately disagreed over public-transit funding. In addition to public transit, Republicans …

Aging Services Providers Slam Possible PRF Plan Read More »

Despite Early Struggles, Home Health Providers Adjusting to the ‘No-Pay RAP’

Home health providers have over half a year of “no-pay RAPs” under their belts now. Just like COVID-19 and the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), their adaptation to that change has been based on their size, capabilities and location, among other factors. But for the most part, the fear of having a significant amount of cash …

Despite Early Struggles, Home Health Providers Adjusting to the ‘No-Pay RAP’ Read More »

Why One State Is Investing $54M to Increase Rates for In-Home Care Providers

Illinois is committing $54 million in increased rates for over 400 of its at-home care providers, a move that will “strengthen the state’s social safety net,” the governor’s office announced Tuesday. There are plenty of examples of lawmakers vying for home-based care at the state and federal levels. But this direct and tangible support has …

Why One State Is Investing $54M to Increase Rates for In-Home Care Providers Read More »

New Legislation Seeks to Help Seniors Pay for Long-Term Care

In an effort to better fund and increase access to long-term care, U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Ny.) on Thursday introduced the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act. “We have a storm coming, with the number of disabled elders expected to double in the coming years,” Suozzi said in a statement. “Fewer …

New Legislation Seeks to Help Seniors Pay for Long-Term Care Read More »

CMS Taking ‘Laissez-Faire’ Approach to Direct Contracting

Signify Health’s (NYSE: SGFY) leaders are as cautiously optimistic and encouraged by the prospects of direct-contracting models as almost anyone. For now, Signify works with the government to give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) insight on how the models could work in the future. The company also works with adjacent organizations that …

CMS Taking ‘Laissez-Faire’ Approach to Direct Contracting Read More »

‘Choose Home’ Legislation Gaining Significant Support in Congress, Nearing Formal Introduction

“Choose Home,” major legislation designed to help more people age in place, is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. There’s even a chance a Choose Home bill is introduced before Congress’s July 4 recess. That’s according to National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) President Bill Dombi. If introduced and eventually enacted, Choose Home would …

‘Choose Home’ Legislation Gaining Significant Support in Congress, Nearing Formal Introduction Read More »

CMS Proposes $310M Home Health Payment Boost, National Expansion of HHVBP

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday proposed plans to expand the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) model nationwide by the start of next year. The agency did so in its proposed payment rule for 2022. In addition to the HHVBP expansion, CMS proposed to increase Medicare payments to home health …

CMS Proposes $310M Home Health Payment Boost, National Expansion of HHVBP Read More »

Senators, Advocates Tout ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’ for Funding HCBS

“Care cannot wait — and neither should Congress.” That was the message delivered Thursday by Brittany Williams, a professional home care worker and third-generation caregiver from Washington state, during a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing. “Even as a child, I could see that care is essential,” Williams told the committee. “It is life-giving …

Senators, Advocates Tout ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’ for Funding HCBS Read More »

PPP Forgiveness Continues to Slow Down the Home Health M&A Process

The COVID-19 crisis came in a hurry. The government, therefore, had to create programs and grants in a hurry to offset some of the financial woes that health care providers were facing. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Provider Relief Fund and other funding was much needed to keep many home-based care operations afloat. But as …

PPP Forgiveness Continues to Slow Down the Home Health M&A Process Read More »

‘Care Is Infrastructure’: Sen. Warren Calls for HCBS Support Following New Bipartisan Proposal

A bipartisan group of 10 senators announced Thursday that they have reached a tentative agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, a major update in one of the main storylines coming out of the Biden administration. The latest infrastructure proposal does not include federal support for home- and community-based services (HCBS), which was a key …

‘Care Is Infrastructure’: Sen. Warren Calls for HCBS Support Following New Bipartisan Proposal Read More »

Colorado Bill Aims to Give Farmworkers Easier Access to Medical Care

SAN LUIS VALLEY, Colo. — A woman with pregnancy complications needed permission from her boss to visit a doctor. Community health volunteers were turned away from delivering food and covid information to worker housing. A farmworker had a serious allergic reaction but was afraid to seek treatment. To Nicole Civita, policy director with Colorado advocacy …

Colorado Bill Aims to Give Farmworkers Easier Access to Medical Care Read More »

Home Health Providers Likely to Play ‘Very Important Role’ in Direct Contracting

Direct contracting is quickly becoming one of the most prominent examples of the overall shift to value-based care. And home health providers will likely play a critical role in the payment model’s success. Although the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) paused certain direct-contracting options when the new administration took over, it remains an …

Home Health Providers Likely to Play ‘Very Important Role’ in Direct Contracting Read More »

Home-Based Care Providers Fear They’re Being Squeezed Out of Medicaid

New York state’s 2020 final budget includes a Medicaid policy provision that has caused serious concern among home-based care providers and advocates. Those groups are now asking lawmakers to overturn the provision. Broadly, the original Medicaid policy issue was that the state authorized the New York Department of Health to essentially decide which home-based care …

Home-Based Care Providers Fear They’re Being Squeezed Out of Medicaid Read More »

Republican Infrastructure Proposal Spikes $400B for HCBS

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a $928 billion infrastructure counteroffer to President Joe Biden’s original $1.9 trillion American Jobs Plan. The counteroffer is a substantial increase compared to the GOP’s previous five-year, $568 billion proposal, but still far less comprehensive than what the White House has called for, particularly when it comes to “soft infrastructure” …

Republican Infrastructure Proposal Spikes $400B for HCBS Read More »

Senate Hearing on Health Care Workforce Shortages Offers Little Discussion Around Home-Based Care

On Thursday, members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a subcommittee hearing to address the dire shortage of health care workers in the U.S. The hearing, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), addressed labor shortages in primary care, behavioral health and more. Lawmakers, however, stopped …

Senate Hearing on Health Care Workforce Shortages Offers Little Discussion Around Home-Based Care Read More »

LeadingAge, Bayada Urge Congress to Invest in Aging Services Infrastructure

Leaders across the senior care sector have banded together and are urging Congress to back legislation that will increase access to care services. And help is long overdue, they argue. For decades, aging services have been underfunded in the U.S., according to Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit LeadingAge. Sloan …

LeadingAge, Bayada Urge Congress to Invest in Aging Services Infrastructure Read More »

Home-Based Care Providers with PPP Loans Can’t Bank on Forgiveness

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) were a godsend for a lot of home care agencies in 2020, allowing them to keep their heads above water during financial downturns and reward employees for conducting hazardous work. But now agencies must prepare for the aftermath of PPP in the form of …

Home-Based Care Providers with PPP Loans Can’t Bank on Forgiveness Read More »

HHS Releases New Guidance on American Rescue Plan Funding for Medicaid HCBS

When President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan in March, he locked in an important payment bump for Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS). Among its many provisions, the $1.9 trillion legislative package raises the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for certain Medicaid HCBS by 10% from April 1 of 2021 through March 31 …

HHS Releases New Guidance on American Rescue Plan Funding for Medicaid HCBS Read More »

Biden Administration Releases $1.4B for HCBS, Senior Health Programs

The Biden administration is releasing $1.4 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan for Older Americans Act programs. Distributed by the Administration for Community Living, a chunk of the funds will go toward home- and community-based services. President Joe Biden originally signed the American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 relief package, into law on March …

Biden Administration Releases $1.4B for HCBS, Senior Health Programs Read More »

Direct-Contracting Entities Figuring Out How to Capitalize on Competitive Advantage

A delay in the Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model by the Biden administration has put the already-accepted direct-contracting entities (DCEs) in a coveted position. New entrants are no longer being accepted for participation in the model while the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its innovation arm review the details. That gives …

Direct-Contracting Entities Figuring Out How to Capitalize on Competitive Advantage Read More »

In Speech to Congress, President Biden Again Shines Spotlight on Home-Based Care

In a speech delivered to Congress Wednesday, President Joe Biden again mentioned the importance of providing care to seniors in their own homes. Specifically, he touted his administration’s previously announced American Jobs Plan, which would include $400 billion for home-based care. Much of that money would go to the workforce, with home health and home …

In Speech to Congress, President Biden Again Shines Spotlight on Home-Based Care Read More »

What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan

DENVER — Before the pandemic, Colorado looked set to become the second state to pass what’s known as a “public option” health insurance plan, which would have forced hospitals that lawmakers said were raking in obscene profits to accept lower payments. But when covid-19 struck, legislators hit pause. Use Our Content It can be republished …

What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan Read More »

Senators Reintroduce Home Health Telehealth Legislation

The home health industry hasn’t given up on securing telehealth reimbursement during the public health emergency. Their tenacity is being rewarded with recent legislative movement on Capitol Hill. A group of bipartisan Senators on Thursday introduced S. 1309, the new version of the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act under the current Congress. …

Senators Reintroduce Home Health Telehealth Legislation Read More »

Confirmation Delay for Next CMS Administrator Could Cause Problems for Home-Based Care Providers

It has been over three months since former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma resigned from her post. As of Wednesday, no one has officially filled the position’s void. The Biden administration’s pick for administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate due to ongoing partisan disputes. For …

Confirmation Delay for Next CMS Administrator Could Cause Problems for Home-Based Care Providers Read More »

Pause to Alternative Payment Models Gives Some Providers a ‘Golden Ticket,’ Leaves Others Behind

The Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model — a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) creation — has been put on pause. The holdup is just another example of CMMI pumping the brakes on an alternative payment model in the days since the new Biden administration took over the executive branch. Broadly, the Global …

Pause to Alternative Payment Models Gives Some Providers a ‘Golden Ticket,’ Leaves Others Behind Read More »

InnovAge, National PACE Association Applaud ‘PACE Plus Act’

The scene is set for a possible expansion to Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in the U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania and chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, on Thursday introduced the “PACE Plus Act,” a bill that aims to expand access to PACE across the country. …

InnovAge, National PACE Association Applaud ‘PACE Plus Act’ Read More »

Biden, Congress Extend Medicare Sequestration Holiday Through 2021

The long and winding saga behind the Medicare sequestration holiday for home health providers and others has come to a close. On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted by a 384-38 margin in favor of a continued sequestration delay. The legislation was one of two measures introduced since early March aimed at delaying …

Biden, Congress Extend Medicare Sequestration Holiday Through 2021 Read More »

‘There Is Not An Easy Solution’: How to Modernize Home- and Community-Based Services

Home-based care insiders have been saying for a long time what a wider group of people are now: Care needs to be brought into the home more frequently — and quickly. But accomplishing that won’t be so simple. In fact, turning the nation’s long-term care system into one that allows more seniors to age in …

‘There Is Not An Easy Solution’: How to Modernize Home- and Community-Based Services Read More »

VNSNY, Contessa Join Amazon-Backed Home Health Coalition

Moving Health Home — the new provider coalition formed in early March dedicated to advancing home-based care in the United States — has landed seven new members. The Washington, D.C.-based industry group announced Friday that Compassus, UPMC, U.S. Medical Management, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), Advocate Aurora Health, Contessa Health and Vituity …

VNSNY, Contessa Join Amazon-Backed Home Health Coalition Read More »

112% Minimum Wage Hike Not Included in New York’s Final Budget

New York home care providers that have been waiting to see if a caregiver wage hike would be included in the state budget recently got an answer. On Monday, the New York state budget was released, with the Health and Mental Hygiene bill published at the same time. The bill did not include the Fair …

112% Minimum Wage Hike Not Included in New York’s Final Budget Read More »

‘There Are Still Many Questions Unanswered’: Home Care Providers Seek Clarity on American Rescue Plan

As part of the recently passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, state Medicaid programs have seemingly received a major bump in funding for vital home- and community-based services (HCBS). In theory, the bump is designed to help HCBS operators expand their services, attract new workers and take on more clients. Still, some in-home care providers …

‘There Are Still Many Questions Unanswered’: Home Care Providers Seek Clarity on American Rescue Plan Read More »

America’s Home Care Infrastructure Is Crumbling. Here’s How to Fix It.

As part of his administration’s recently unveiled American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden wants to set aside $400 billion to better support the nation’s home-based care system. While specifics still need to be worked out, a large chunk of that funding would be used to improve the wages of home health aides and other caregivers …

America’s Home Care Infrastructure Is Crumbling. Here’s How to Fix It. Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Congress is out of session, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from planning their next round of health legislation. Together with President Joe Biden, they are looking at a broad array of possibilities, from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices to adding more benefits to the …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Planning for Round Two Read More »

‘A Monumental Advance’: Newly Unveiled American Jobs Plan Would Invest $400B into Home-Based Care

President Joe Biden is trying to make good on one of his main campaign promises. The Biden administration on Wednesday unveiled a new $2 trillion infrastructure proposal to create jobs, build roads, fix bridges and more. On top of that, the proposal — officially dubbed the American Jobs Plan — would substantially increase funding for …

‘A Monumental Advance’: Newly Unveiled American Jobs Plan Would Invest $400B into Home-Based Care Read More »

Home Care Operators Waiting for Clarity on Proposal to Boost Pay to 112% of Minimum Wage

Multiple scandals involving New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a related impeachment investigation will not slow down budget negotiations. That could mean a late night for the state’s home-based care operators, who are following the talks closely due to possible wage hikes on the table. As of Wednesday afternoon, New York lawmakers were full-speed ahead …

Home Care Operators Waiting for Clarity on Proposal to Boost Pay to 112% of Minimum Wage Read More »

‘A Key Piece of the Puzzle’: Setting the Record Straight on Medicare Sequestration

There’s a lot of confusion within the home health industry regarding Medicare sequestration right now. That’s understandable, considering there have been multiple inaccurate reports about where a continued delay actually stands. To recap, Medicare sequestration is a federal savings mechanism required by the Budget Control Act, which was signed into law in August 2011 with …

‘A Key Piece of the Puzzle’: Setting the Record Straight on Medicare Sequestration Read More »

House Hearing Slams Private Equity’s ‘Troubling’ Expansion into Health Care

Members of Congress took aim at private equity’s expanded role in the U.S. health care system on Thursday, addressing the topic during a special hearing held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight. Much of the hearing focused on PE’s increasingly prominent role in nursing homes, as the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered heated …

House Hearing Slams Private Equity’s ‘Troubling’ Expansion into Health Care Read More »

State Bill Aiding Unionization in Home-Based Care Could ‘Set a Precedent’ Nationwide

Traditionally, the home-based care world has been mostly void of massive unionization efforts among its workers. But that could change soon, thanks to a new ruling out of California related to “Assembly Bill 2455,” which the state passed in 2018. The bill aims to allow home-based care workers’ contact information to be unveiled, which gives …

State Bill Aiding Unionization in Home-Based Care Could ‘Set a Precedent’ Nationwide Read More »

Collins, Shaheen Go to Bat for Home Health Providers in the Senate

More lawmakers are throwing their support behind a continued pause to Medicare sequestration. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced new legislation on Tuesday aimed at stopping automatic 2% payment cuts to all Medicare providers, including home health agencies. The Medicare Sequester Relief Act specifically seeks to stave off sequestration until after …

Collins, Shaheen Go to Bat for Home Health Providers in the Senate Read More »

House to Consider Bill Blocking Mandatory Cuts to Medicare

Home health providers may get continued relief from Medicare sequestration after all. On Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced new legislation — H.R. 1868 — aimed at stopping automatic spending cuts to Medicare and other programs. House lawmakers plan to consider the legislation this week, setting the stage for possible relief before a …

House to Consider Bill Blocking Mandatory Cuts to Medicare Read More »

Amwell Joins the Ranks of Amazon, Intermountain on Home-Based Care Coalition

Moving Health Home (MHH) — the recently announced home-based care advancement coalition — has a new founding member. Telehealth company Amwell (NYSE: AMWL) has joined an array of health care industry leaders from across the continuum that also includes Amazon Care and Intermountain Healthcare. Boston-based Amwell is a telehealth platform that supports urgent care, acute …

Amwell Joins the Ranks of Amazon, Intermountain on Home-Based Care Coalition Read More »

House Passes $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan, Securing Relief for Home-Based Care Providers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” on Wednesday. The Senate approved the legislation along party lines on Saturday. In passing this latest round of coronavirus relief, Congress gave Biden one of his biggest early political victories since taking office. The White House announced …

House Passes $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan, Securing Relief for Home-Based Care Providers Read More »

Pandemic Aid Package Includes Relief From High Premiums

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. As President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief package steams through Congress, Democrats have hitched a ride for a top health care priority: strengthening the Affordable Care Act with some of the most significant changes to insurance affordability in more than a decade. The bill …

Pandemic Aid Package Includes Relief From High Premiums Read More »

$1.9T Stimulus Bill Now Includes 10% Payment Boost for Home- and Community-Based Services

The $1.9 trillion stimulus package took a critical step on Saturday. It passed in the Senate, which then sent it back to the House of Representatives for final deliberation before ultimately landing on President Joe Biden’s desk. From a home-based care perspective, one of the most noteworthy elements of the Senate passage was that the …

$1.9T Stimulus Bill Now Includes 10% Payment Boost for Home- and Community-Based Services Read More »

Amazon Joins Home-Based Care Providers to Advocate for Better Health Care Policy

An eclectic group of health care providers has formed a new organization dedicated to advancing home-based care. The long-term vision of the new entity, branded “Moving Health Home,” is to fundamentally change the way policymakers think about how, when and where patients are treated. The coalition, unveiled Wednesday, is made up by eight diverse founding …

Amazon Joins Home-Based Care Providers to Advocate for Better Health Care Policy Read More »

States Aim to Chip Away at Abortion Rights With Supreme Court in Mind

This story also ran on USA Today and GateHouse Media. It can be republished for free. When Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway introduced a bill in the Montana House two years ago that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Republican legislator knew it was unlikely to survive the veto pen of the Democratic …

States Aim to Chip Away at Abortion Rights With Supreme Court in Mind Read More »

As $1.9T Stimulus Bill Heads to Senate, Here’s What It Could Mean for In-Home Care

The House of Representatives passed the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill Saturday, which means the next step for the “American Rescue Plan” is to go through the Senate, where its provisions related to home-based care will likely be tinkered with again. Because pandemic-related unemployment benefits are set to expire on March 14, lawmakers are …

As $1.9T Stimulus Bill Heads to Senate, Here’s What It Could Mean for In-Home Care Read More »

New California Law Makes It Easier to Get Care for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. Karen Bailey’s 20-year-old daughter has struggled with depression and anxiety for years. Since 2017, she’s been in three intensive group therapy programs and, each time, the family’s insurer cut her coverage short, says Bailey. “At a certain point, they would send us a form letter saying: …

New California Law Makes It Easier to Get Care for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Read More »

Rural Access to Home Health Services, PACE Among Lawmakers’ Future Spending Priorities

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly highlighted a need to rethink the nation’s long-term care landscape in recent months, partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of the country’s rapidly changing demographics. A recently published budget report from the House Appropriations Committee obtained by Home Health Care News offers further insight into that call …

Rural Access to Home Health Services, PACE Among Lawmakers’ Future Spending Priorities Read More »

OIG Ramps Up Home Health Oversight

When a public health emergency was declared last March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a variety of waivers allowing home health providers to more easily provide telehealth services amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Now, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has announced an audit dubbed the “HHA Telehealth Project,” which will …

OIG Ramps Up Home Health Oversight Read More »

New Single-Payer Bill Intensifies Newsom’s Political Peril

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. SACRAMENTO — A group of Democratic state lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to create a single-payer health care system to cover all Californians, immediately defining the biggest health policy debate of the year and putting enormous political pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Democratic governor faces the …

New Single-Payer Bill Intensifies Newsom’s Political Peril Read More »

7.35% Medicaid Boost Critical for Supporting America’s ‘Fragile’ Home-Based Care Infrastructure, Senators Argue

7When the House Energy and Commerce Committee included new Medicaid provisions to the ever-changing $1.9 trillion relief package, home-based care operators were pleased to see a hefty rate bump for home- and community-based care (HCBS).   The draft legislation specifically called for a 7.35% rate increase for states to enhance HCBS during the pandemic. There appears …

7.35% Medicaid Boost Critical for Supporting America’s ‘Fragile’ Home-Based Care Infrastructure, Senators Argue Read More »

AccentCare CMO: Home Health, Hospice Turning into the ‘Forgotten Front Line’

In January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a proposed budget that included a slew of cuts to make up for the $15 billion deficit that the state was facing amid the ongoing public health emergency. On Wednesday, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS) released a report that explained how some of …

AccentCare CMO: Home Health, Hospice Turning into the ‘Forgotten Front Line’ Read More »

New Report Details COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Home Care Finances, Staffing Levels

In January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a proposed budget that included a slew of cuts to make up for the $15 billion deficit that the state was facing amid the ongoing public health emergency. On Wednesday, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS) released a report that explained how some of …

New Report Details COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Home Care Finances, Staffing Levels Read More »

50% Cut to Workforce Recruitment, Retention Fund Puts Home Care Providers in the Hot Seat

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his executive budget proposal for the state in January. Its litany of cost-saving cuts could leave home-based care providers vulnerable, industry stakeholders caution. Specifically, the proposed budget would mean a 50% reduction in home care workforce recruitment and retention funding, as well as a 1% reduction for Medicaid providers …

50% Cut to Workforce Recruitment, Retention Fund Puts Home Care Providers in the Hot Seat Read More »

House Lawmakers Include 7.35% Medicaid Boost for Home- and Community-Based Services in Stimulus Proposal

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has proposed some major Medicaid provisions to the $1.9 trillion relief package making its way through Congress. If enacted, the measures would benefit home-based care providers across the U.S., at least in the short term. Specifically, the draft legislation includes a two-year, 5% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) boost …

House Lawmakers Include 7.35% Medicaid Boost for Home- and Community-Based Services in Stimulus Proposal Read More »

As Demand for Mental Health Care Spikes, Budget Ax Set to Strike

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. HELENA, Mont. — When the pandemic hit, health officials in Montana’s Beaverhead County had barely begun to fill a hole left by the 2017 closure of the local public assistance office, mental health clinic, chemical dependency center and job placement office after the state’s last budget …

As Demand for Mental Health Care Spikes, Budget Ax Set to Strike Read More »

Labor Policies Threaten Home Care Providers: ‘Agencies Are Truly Getting the Worst of Both Ends’

Home-based care providers are dealing with an ongoing pandemic and simultaneously tackling vaccine education, procurement and distribution. Now, a slew of legislative labor provisions are threatening to disrupt both home health and home care agencies across the country. After President Joe Biden was inaugurated, his administration released a fact sheet that said “workers have a …

Labor Policies Threaten Home Care Providers: ‘Agencies Are Truly Getting the Worst of Both Ends’ Read More »

‘Inadequate Medicaid Rates’ Threaten Home Care Providers Amid $15 Minimum Wage Push

In-home care advocates are once again urging the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers to be cautious in their quest to raise the federal minimum wage to $15. A $15 an hour minimum wage is just one aspect of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan to shore up Americans’ finances as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Other …

‘Inadequate Medicaid Rates’ Threaten Home Care Providers Amid $15 Minimum Wage Push Read More »

Biden to DOL: Workers Have ‘Guaranteed Right to Refuse Employment’ If They Feel Unsafe

In President Joe Biden’s first few days of office, he has signed a slew of executive orders, some of which may have an immediate effect on home health and home care agencies. One executive order, for example, laid the groundwork for a $15 minimum wage. The “Fight for $15” has long been a complicated issue …

Biden to DOL: Workers Have ‘Guaranteed Right to Refuse Employment’ If They Feel Unsafe Read More »

What President Joe Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan’ Means for Home Care Operators

Before President Joe Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, he had already unveiled plans for another massive stimulus package, one that could help home-based care providers in some ways — and hurt them in others. Under the new president’s “American Rescue Plan,” for instance, there would be $400 billion put forth to increase COVID-19 testing …

What President Joe Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan’ Means for Home Care Operators Read More »

HHS Delays Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements in Response to Updated Utilization Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday announced it will amend the reporting timeline for the Provider Relief Fund, giving home health agencies and others more time to prepare required information. The news comes shortly after Congress clarified financial dos and don’ts of the program. Originally, the opening date for HHS’s …

HHS Delays Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements in Response to Updated Utilization Guidelines Read More »

Certificate of Need Markets Can Mean Big Business for Home Health Buyers, But Opportunities Are Growing Scarce

Home health mergers and acquisitions got off to a slow start in 2020, then picked up considerably by year’s end. Home health insiders are now predicting a big year for M&A activity in 2021, especially after COVID-19 relief vanishes and economic realities become clearer. The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) will likewise play a part in …

Certificate of Need Markets Can Mean Big Business for Home Health Buyers, But Opportunities Are Growing Scarce Read More »

$1.4 Trillion Spending Package Extends Sequestration Holiday, Grants Home Health OTs More Authority

As different health care stakeholders combed through the new $1.4 trillion spending package approved by Congress on Monday, many likely felt a mix of excitement and disappointment. Included in the nearly 6,000-page spending package was a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, changes to home health therapy rules, certain hospice provisions and more. That’s really just …

$1.4 Trillion Spending Package Extends Sequestration Holiday, Grants Home Health OTs More Authority Read More »

Surprise! Congress Takes Steps to Curb Unexpected Medical Bills

Most Americans tell pollsters they’re worried about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill. Late Monday, Congress passed a bill to allay some of those fears. The measure is included in a nearly 5,600-page package providing coronavirus economic relief and government funding for the rest of the fiscal year. Specifically, the legislation addresses those …

Surprise! Congress Takes Steps to Curb Unexpected Medical Bills Read More »

No Funding, Closures and Limited Capacity: Adult Day Providers in Dire Need of Help

In late November, the aging-focused advocacy organization LeadingAge wrote a note to Congress, calling for relief on behalf of the 5,500 adult day service providers across the country and the vulnerable patients they serve. “Adult day services providers across the country urgently need dedicated federal funding to ensure they are able to continue providing services …

No Funding, Closures and Limited Capacity: Adult Day Providers in Dire Need of Help Read More »

House Bill Looks to Keep Medicare Sequestration ‘Holiday’ in Place for Home Health Agencies, Others

U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act last week. If passed, the bill would extend the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration payment reductions, giving home health agencies and other providers more financial flexibility headed into an uncertain 2021. Since 2014, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & …

House Bill Looks to Keep Medicare Sequestration ‘Holiday’ in Place for Home Health Agencies, Others Read More »

Legislation Aimed at Expanding Advance Care Planning Introduced in Senate

On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would support advance care planning and end-of-life care. For home health providers with existing hospice service lines or ambitions for expanding into palliative care, the news is encouraging. If passed, the Compassionate Care Act places more resources behind public awareness campaigns …

Legislation Aimed at Expanding Advance Care Planning Introduced in Senate Read More »