House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) issued the following statements after House Republicans introduced a continuing resolution that includes reforms to improve the Medicare program and extend specific Medicare policies that could cause people to lose access to care unless Congress acts:
"The Ways and Means Committee has been leading on proposals to extend important Medicare policies and make improvements to the Medicare program for millions of Americans and the health care providers that serve them. With this legislation, we have an opportunity to move those important proposals forward," Chairman Brady said. "Many of these proposals have already passed out of our Committee or the House on a bipartisan basis and have widespread support in the Senate. They will help reduce red tape and ineffective policies that stand in the way of greater access and better care -- and instead provide certainty and continuity for the people who depend on Medicare. I'm proud of all the bipartisan, bicameral work our Committee has done to develop these proposals, and I look forward to swift passage in the Senate."
"I'm pleased to see the inclusion of important Medicare extenders and public health priorities as part of the continuing resolution," Chairman Roskam said. "As Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee I know our members have worked hard in crafting common sense improvements such as the therapy cap extension and full funding to expand access to in-home treatments for Medicare patients. It is vital that these priorities move in order to guarantee services to our constituents and improve Medicare for our seniors and individuals with disabilities."
The CR includes a number of Medicare proposals that have passed out of the House or the Senate through regular order. These items include, but are not limited to policies contained in the following bills:
Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R.3178), introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), makes a series of targeted improvements to Medicare Part B programs, including expanding access to in-home treatments for patients. The legislation includes several bipartisan ideas from Members of the Committee, including policies reflected in the following bills:
H.R. 3161, introduced by Former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), which creates a transition payment for home infusion therapies for Medicare beneficiaries to ensure there is no gap in care.
H.R. 3171, introduced by Reps. Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), which protects access to orthotics and prosthetics for Medicare beneficiaries who need them.
H.R. 3166, introduced by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and John Lewis (D-GA), which improves the accreditation process for dialysis facilities so Medicare beneficiaries with chronic kidney disease living in rural communities can more easily access the treatments they need.
H.R. 3164, introduced by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Pat Meehan (R-PA), expands the use of telehealth technologies for Medicare beneficiaries receiving dialysis in their homes.
H.R. 3173, introduced by Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Ron Kind (D-WI), which puts into law existing regulations to modernize Medicare's physician self-referral laws, known as "Stark laws."
Medicare Extenders and Other Policies Included in CHRONIC Care Act
H.R. 3168, introduced by Former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), extends and strengthens Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs) to increase efficiency and plan quality.
H.R. 3044, introduced by Reps. Pat Meehan (R-PA) and Terri Sewell (D-AL), expands supplemental benefits to meet the needs of chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees under the Medicare program.
H.R. 3729, introduced by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Terri Sewell (D-AL), ensures the accuracy of ambulance payments in the Medicare program by requiring ambulance providers in rural areas to submit annual cost reports to HHS.
H.R. 3727, introduced by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), includes telehealth services as a basic benefit for Medicare Advantage enrollees and increases access for beneficiaries by allowing plans to incorporate telehealth services into their bids.
H.R. 3992, introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), postpones the implementation of the Home Health Groupings model (HHGM) until 2020.
H.R. 2663, introduced by Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), requires CMS to consider the entire patient's record when deciding if a patient is eligible for home health care services.
H.R. 1955, introduced by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT), extends the Medicare Dependent Hospital Program and the Low-Volume Adjustment Program.
H.R. 1995, introduced by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), expands the Medicare Advantage value-based insurance design to all 50 states to meet the needs of chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees.
H.R. 3120, introduced by Reps. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and Mike Thompson (D-CA), eases the burden on medical providers by reducing the amount of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests.
H.R. 3271, introduced by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Susan Brooks (R-IN), bolsters protections for Medicare beneficiaries who purchase blood glucose testing supplies from the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program.
H.R. 3263, introduced by Reps. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Mike Thompson (D-CA), grants a two-year extension for the Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Program (IAH) through FY 2019.
H.R. 807, based on this legislation introduced by Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and nearly 250 other members of Congress that would permanently repeal the cap on therapy services in Medicare, instead further codifying a more stringent medical review threshold.