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Maine Senator Proposes To Prevent Cuts To Home Health Care Services Reimbursements

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Home Health Care Medicare Reimbursements

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday introduced legislation thatwould prevent a scheduled $6.2 billion reduction in Medicarereimbursements for home health care services over the next four years,the Bangor Daily News reports. The cuts, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2008, are part of a CMSrestructuring plan that imposes limits on routine home health careservices but increases funding for more clinically intensive home care.The plan also includes increasing payments to providers that providequality-of-care data and will implement pay-for-performance projects inseven states.

CMS proposed the changes amid concerns thatproviders claimed patients were sicker and in need of more services inorder to receive higher payments, according to Collins. However, shesaid the severity of such claims might be valid, noting that stricterhospital and insurance policies are causing patients to be dischargedearlier and sicker, and advancements in technology have enabled moretreatments to be available at home (Haskell, Bangor Daily News, 10/18).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.