April 5, 2021

Around the nation: Biden calls on Congress to spend $400B to bolster home health care

Daily Briefing

    President Biden in a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal unveiled Wednesday called on Congress to expand access to long-term care services under Medicaid and improve Veterans Affairs medical facilities, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Texas.

    • District of Columbia: President Biden in a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal unveiled Wednesday called on Congress to expand access to long-term care services under Medicaid and improve Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Under the proposal, called the "American Jobs Plan," $400 billion would go toward extending Medicaid's Money Follows the Person program—which supports long-term care delivery innovation—and expanding access to home and community-based services under Medicaid. In addition, the proposal includes $18 billion for renovating existing VA hospitals or clinics and building new ones (Hellmann/Christ, Modern Healthcare, 3/31; Ruoff, Bloomberg Law, 3/31; Mitchell, The Hill, 3/31; American Jobs Plan fact sheet, 3/31).
    • Maryland: CMS on Wednesday told administrative contractors to not process Medicare claims for services provided on or after April 1 to ensure providers won't affected by a 2% payment cut that Congress is expected to put on hold. The 2% cut to all Medicare payments first took effect in 2013, but Congress last year approved a moratorium suspending the cuts until March 31. The Senate on March 25 approved a bill to extend the moratorium on the payment cuts, but the House, which is on recess until April 13, has not yet been passed the bill. CMS said holding off on processing claims from this month "will minimize the volume of claims the [Medicare Administrative Contractors] must reprocess if Congress extends the suspension" (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 3/31; King, Fierce Healthcare, 3/31).
    • Texas: Texas Health Aetna has named Karl Hess as interim CEO, following the departure of Genevieve Caruncho-Simpson, who took time off from her role as president and COO of the joint venture between Texas Health Resources and Aetna for family reasons. Hess previously served as managing director of OnDigitalHealth Consulting, a firm he founded, and also previously served as CEO of Kalico Partners, a company he co-founded (Haefner, Becker's Payer Issues, 3/30).
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