Legislative Topics

The AAHAM Legislative Day that was held May 1st and 2nd was a successful on many levels!  80+ AAHAM members from around the country were there, and from the afternoon and morning of speakers to our time on Capitol Hill, it was positive, informative and productive (not adjectives commonly applied to the nation’s capital often these days!) This year’s topic, as you likely know, was Observation Stay - Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2017, bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation to correct Medicare requirements pertaining to Observation status. Currently, CMS mandates that three (3) midnights as an inpatient in our hospitals has to happen before it will provide for coverage of a stay in a Skilled Nursing Facility upon discharge from the acute care setting. This bill will allow Observation hours, which have outpatient status only (no matter the length of stay) to also count should SNF care be required.

This Bill, which had been released in the two previous Congresses, though not voted on, is back again for the 115th Congressional Session which is just under way. From my years working in the U.S. Senate, I can tell you that this sort of multi-year cycle is not at all unusual – but it is our job, as constituents who see the impact of the law in “real life” to keep it alive with examples from home for our lawmakers to hear. 

Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) is the House sponsor of the legislation, and we were pleased to have him speak to our assembled national representation from AAHAM, much as he did recently to the CT Chapter meeting held in Cromwell.  Our Vice President Paul Fitzpatrick and I then traveled the Hill with a small group assembled from the northeast, and visited members of the House and Senate from CT, ME and NJ.  During our travels, we had the good fortune to encounter Senator Blumenthal in the hallway, and had a chance to lobby him directly!  He has agreed to look at the legislation and consider joining Sen. Murphy on the Senate bill.  And Congresswoman DeLauro’s Legislative Director has agreed to join forces with Congressman Courtney’s staff to get Cong. Himes and Esty on the bill – that would complete the CT delegation!

I am grateful to our CT AAHAM Chapter for allowing me to join Paul in representing our state.  I hope stay involved with our government relations efforts; to attend this event again next year; and would encourage each of you to think about attending this exciting 2-day event as well.

Kimberly Spaulding

 


 

AUGUST 05, 2016
AAHAM files joint petition for Modernizing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

MAY 19, 2016
Observation stats deny Medicare benediciaries acccess to Skilled Nursing Center

MAY 19, 2016
Observation stats deny Medicare benediciaries acccess to Skilled Nursing Center, cost thousands

MAY 05, 2016
Letter to Sec. Burwell- Two Midnight rule repeal