Waiting for action: Bills introduced, but not passed, in 2000

HR 3872 "Long-Term Care and Reimbursement Act of 2000": To allow individuals a deduction for long-term care insurance premiums, use of such insurance under cafeteria plans and flexible spending arrangements, and a tax credit for individuals with long-term care needs.

HR 4028 "Alzheimer’s Disease Medicare Home Health Care Benefit Clarification Act of 2000": To allow those with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia to participate in an adult day care program without forfeiting their Medicare home health benefit.

HR 4219 "Home Health Fairness Act of 2000" (companion bill to S.2365): To amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to eliminate the 15% reduction in payment rates under the prospective payment system for home health services.

HR 4623 "Medicare Home Health Assistance Act of 2000": To amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to revise the calculation of base payment rates for the prospective payment system for home health services furnished under the Medicare Program.

HR 4727 "Equal Access to Medicare Home Health Care Act of 2000": To eliminate the additional 15% cut in home health services, provide an add-on to the home health prospective payment system (PPS) base payment for patients in rural areas and a pass-through for security costs, provide interim payment system overpayment relief, and recognize telemedicine as a legitimate means of delivering home health services.

HR 5163 "Home Health Refinement Amendments of 2000": To eliminate the 15% reduction in payment rates under PPS, provide additional payments for outliers and additional payments in rural areas and security services, exclude nonroutine medical supplies under PPS for home health services, and provide a study for telehomehealth services.

S 2298 "Homebound Clarification Act of 2000": To base homebound determination solely on the existing standard of whether leaving home requires considerable or taxing effort, eliminating the number or length of absences as criteria.

S 2365 "Home Health Payment Fairness Act of 2000": To eliminate the 15% reduction in payment rates under the prospective payment system for home health services.

S 2766 "Equal Access to Medicare Home Health Care Act of 2000": To eliminate the additional 15% cut in home health services, provide an add-on to the home health prospective payment system (PPS) base payment for patients in rural areas and a pass-through for security costs, provide interim payment system overpayment relief, and recognize telemedicine as a legitimate means of delivering home health services.

S 2835 "Medicare Home Health Refinement Act of 2000": To provide emergency cash-flow assistance for home health agencies, reimbursement of home health agencies for unfunded PPS-related costs, OASIS labor costs, and nonroutine medical supplies furnished by home health agencies.

S 2999 "Health Care Provider Bill of Rights": To reform the Health Care Financing Administration’s regulatory processes, appeals, overpayment procedures, voluntary disclosure, criminal enforcement, and provider education.

S 3034 "Home Health Refinement Amendments of 2000": To eliminate the 15% reduction in payment rates under PPS, provide additional payments for outliers and additional payments in rural areas and security services, exclude nonroutine medical supplies under PPS for home health services, and provide a study for telehomehealth services.

S 3077 "Balanced Budget Act Refinements of 2000": To completely eliminate the additional 15% cut in the Medicare home health benefit and provide a 10% add-on for 2 years to the PPS base payment for rural patients; eliminate the bundling and consolidated billing of nonroutine medical supplies for 18 months to give the Secretary of Health and Human Services time to study whether bundling and consolidated billing are appropriate for medical supplies; help to clarify branch office rules; provide full market basket updates in hospice payments for fiscal years 2001 and 2002 and a 10% upward adjustment in the underlying hospice rates; provide full inflation update payments for medical equipment, oxygen, and other supplies; provide that regular attendance at adult day care by those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia would not result in a loss of homebound status.

Source: National Association for Home Care, Washington, DC; Thomas.loc.gov.