Four association representatives and CEO Gina Balkus spent March 24th on Capitol Hill, visiting the offices of the NH Congressional Delegation. We met with Congresswoman Anne McLane Kuster and the health liaisons for Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Congressman Frank Guinta. Our visits were timely, as the House was crafting the SGR “doc fix” and the Senate was voting on a budget resolution. The Association advocated for extension of the 3% rural add-on to Medicare HHPPS rates, and for passage of a bill that would allow ARNPs and PAs to authorize Medicare home health services. We also continued to express our concerns about Medicare’s confusing and burdensome F2F regulations.
Late last week, the House passed an SGR bill that extended the 3% rural add-on through the end of 2017. Senators will vote on the bill when they reconvene in two weeks. Al
so last week, Senate Kelly Ayotte introduced a budget amendment regarding the F2F issue. The amendment did not pass, but was intended to create awareness about the F2F administrative burden. Senator Jeanne Shaheen continues to co-sponsor the Medicare Home Health Improvement Act, which will address the ARNP issue. This bill has been introduced numerous times, but has not reached the Senate floor. Nurse practitioners will be in DC this week, advocating for this bill and others.
Thank you to the members who made the trip to Washington! Pictured above are: Margaret Franckhauser, CEO of Central NH VNA; Beth Slepian, VP, Concord Regional VNA; Congresswoman Kuster; Sandra Poleatewich, COO, Interim Healthcare; Elaine Bussey, CEO of North Country Home & Hospice, and Gina Balkus, HCANH CEO.