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Home Healthcare Community Praises Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Supporting Program Integrity Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2012
Contact: Emily White
703-548-0019

Home Healthcare Community Praises Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Supporting Program Integrity Reforms

Representative McMorris Rodgers commends home health community for efforts to target waste, fraud and abuse

WASHINGTON— The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare today thanked U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) for supporting efforts by the home healthcare community to strengthen the integrity of the Medicare program by targeting waste, fraud and abuse.

In a statement before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, McMorris Rodgers spoke of the grim predictions for Medicare and referenced the need to prevent fraudulent activity as a key part of the discussion for keeping Medicare solvent for years to come, citing the importance of identifying fraud and moving away from the current "pay and chase" system.

McMorris Rodgers specifically cited the Partnership's efforts to advance program integrity reforms, stating, "The skilled home healthcare community has developed a package of reforms to prevent the bad actors from committing fraud and abuse. I commend the home health community for taking this stand to protect Medicare for the seniors who currently need and for future beneficiaries."

Continued McMorris Rodgers, "As we move forward in this discussion of fraud and waste in Medicare, I think it is important to remember that most Medicare providers are honest people trying to provide quality medical care to their patients. We should seek input from these providers on how and where waste and fraud occur."

The Partnership has developed a reform proposal to strengthen the Medicare home health benefit - the Skilled Home Healthcare Integrity and Program Savings (SHHIPS) proposal — by preventing aberrant payments of claims through methods such as strengthening claims review processes and conditions of participation standards.

The Partnership is also a founding member of the Fight Fraud First! Coalition - a group that advocates on behalf of seniors, persons with disabilities, military veterans, and family members to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from Medicare and Medicaid. The Coalition aims to educate Congress on the benefits to targeting bad actors rather than burdening seniors, honest providers and taxpayers.

"We thank Representative McMorris Rodgers for recognizing the need to implement policies that detect fraud before it happens and rid Medicare of the inefficient pay and chase system," stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership. "We encourage lawmakers to advance targeted solutions that protect beneficiaries before turning to across-the-board Medicare cuts or increased out of pocket fees on vulnerable seniors that limit access to patient-preferred home healthcare."

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The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare was established in 2010 to assist government officials in ensuring access to quality home health services for all Americans. Representing more than 1,500 community- and hospital-based home healthcare agencies nationwide, the Partnership is dedicated to developing innovative reforms to improve the program integrity, quality, and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation's seniors. To learn more, visit www.homehealth4america.org. To join the home health policy conversation, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog.

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