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Medicare Home Health - PLEASE email, write, call, contact - really need your help!

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[TD]Time To Take Action!!

Urge “Lame Duck” Congress To Pass Home Health Bill


Congress is returning November 13 for a short post-election “lame duck” session to deal with a long list of critical issues including deficit reduction and pending deep cuts in Medicare payments. Legislation to enable nurse practitioners to authorize Medicare home health services should be part of these negotiations – but it could be overlooked unless we make our voices heard now!


Contact your Senators and Representatives NOW! Urge them to ask their leaders to include the provisions of the “Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act” (H.R. 2267/S. 227) in any Medicare or budget legislation to be passed before the end of the year. For further information click links below.


What is the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011?


What is the

Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011?

Currently, nurse practitioners (PA's) are not able to certify Medicare beneficiaries’ eligibility for home

health care services despite the fact that physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse

specialists, and certified nurse midwives are recognized Medicare providers. H.R. 2267/S. 227,


Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011, as introduced by Representatives

Greg Walden and Allyson Schwartz in the House of Representatives and Senators Susan Collins

and Kent Conrad in the Senate, recognizes and authorizes nurse practitioners and PA's as eligible health

care professionals who can certify home health services under Medicare, ensuring that Medicare

patients requiring these services receive optimal continuity of care.

This legislation has the strong bipartisan support of 120 Representatives and 17 Senators this

session. However, that alone won’t get the bill passed – we need cosponsors and members who

haven’t cosponsored the bill to tell their leaders they want to vote on these provisions this year as

part of the year-end Medicare and budget agreements.




It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Take Action!



It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Take Action!

We know Physician Assistants face days filled with responsibilities to care for their patients and manage their

practices. But even the busiest PA's can – and must – find a few minutes in their day for the critical

responsibility of educating those who make the laws and regulations that govern their profession and advocating

for improving health care for their patients.

Just follow these simple steps to contact your legislators:

Step 1:

Know your members of Congress. If you don’t already know who they are, go to www.senate.gov to

find your Senators and

www.house.gov to identify your Representative.

Step 2:

Have your legislators cosponsored the bill? It’s particularly important to contact members of Congress

who already support this legislation to thank them and ask them to push their leadership to pass the bill before

the end of the year. To find out if your legislators are cosponsors:

Go to http://thomas.loc.gov and type “Home Health Care Improvement Act” in the search box provided.

To see if your Representative is a cosponsor of H.R. 2267, click on the “Cosponsors” link under that


To find out if your Senators are cosponsors of S. 227, click on the “Cosponsors” link under that bill.

Step 3: Prepare your message.

As a constituent, you can explain to your members of Congress and their

staffers what a “Physician Assistant” is, describe your practice, and explain how this legislation will help you and

other PAs ensure that patients with Medicare coverage get the home health services they need in a timely

manner. Your experiences and perspective are critical to making your legislators understand how passage of

this legislation will help their constituents and improve health care in the communities they represent in


You can use the sample text below to develop a few key “talking points” for your message, whether you make a

phone call or send an email message:

Dear Representative / Senator :

As a physician assistant providing health care services to your constituents, I am writing/calling

about H.R. 2267/ S. 227, the

Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011. I’m asking

(you/Senator/Representative ) to urge your leadership to include this legislation in

any Medicare or budget legislation you act on during the “lame duck” session.

Medicare’s current policy compromises my ability to provide appropriate care for my patients

because Medicare conditions of participation allow home health care agencies to accept referrals

and certifications from physicians, but not other primary care providers such as physician assistants. even though I can provide all other aspects of care for that patient leading up to and

after the referrals and certifications for home health services have been established. This

restriction makes it necessary to involve another provider who may not be aware of the patient or

their current condition.

Physician Assistants have a long history of providing high quality, cost effective care to patients

of all ages. We are particularly prepared to manage the problems of patients with chronic

diseases and the elderly, and should be able to make referrals for these services for our Medicare


[insert personal story here: (i.e. I live in a rural area and don’t have access to a physician to sign

off on my order. / I have a patient who was not able to get the services she needed because of this law.)]

This legislation can make an important contribution to current efforts in Congress to reduce the

federal budget deficit and make the Medicare program more cost-effective. An independent

study found that Medicare could save nearly $310 million over ten years by authorizing Non Physician Providers to

order home health services. But the main benefit will be improving health care for Medicare


Please help me give my patients who need home health care the access to the Medicare services

they require. Urge your leaders to act on this important legislation before the end of the year as

part of any Medicare or budget agreement. Speak up now to help us improve health care for

Medicare patients.

Thank you,

Step 4:

TAKE ACTION! Both chambers of Congress will reconvene on Tuesday, November 13 with less

than six weeks to complete action on critical budget and Medicare legislation. It is critically important for us to

demonstrate to Senate and House leadership that support for this bill is so strong that it must be included in the

final year-end legislation.

Contact your Representative and Senators as soon – and as frequently – as possible, either by phone or

email, and urge them to ask their leadership to include the provisions of the Home Health Care Planning

Improvement Act (H.R. 2267/ S. 227) in any final Medicare or budget agreement.

If possible, follow up

with your Representatives and Senators frequently during the “lame duck” session and ask if they’ve talked

with their leadership about the bill – members of Congress will have to be constantly reminded that this issue

must be passed.

The easiest and most effective way to reach your Senators or Representative is to call their

Washington, DC office. Just call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at

(202) 224-3121 and asked to be

connected to the office of your Senators or Representative – if you don’t know who your

Representative is, the operator can identify him or her by using your zip code.

You can also send an email message to your legislators – although different offices handle general email from

constituents differently. If you have an email address for a staffer who works for your legislator, it’s best to

send your message to that individual.

You can also send email messages directly to your members of Congress by going to their official websites,

To send an email message to your Senators, go to


, locate your Senators, and click on the

link to their individual websites. Follow the instructions they provide to send your message.

Similarly, you can send an email message to your Representative by going to


, locating your Representative, and clicking on the link to his or her

individual website.

Follow up frequently. The “lame duck” session will be short and hectic, with a huge number of constituents

and special interests competing to get their messages heard – one phone call or email message to your

legislators simply won’t be enough. They need to hear from as many of their constituents as possible as often

as possible how important this legislation is.






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Now most of you old timers know my feelings about the NP organization..

Tat bias being up front; why should I support a legislation which buttresses up the NP, and doesn't seem to reconize the PA, if passed, how much you wanna bet I can soon be supervised in a medical home by a NP?


Not in this lifetime.





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  • Moderator

This same legistlation is the EXACT one that will allow PA's to order home health - this is not an issue limited to NP or PA but instead to both. I can order fentanyl 100mcg but can't order a diaper? this is insane and PA's need to stand up and get it changed - and yes this does mean standing with the NP's that are advocating for this - as we have all seen and feel the NP lobby is far more effective at getting things done then our own AAPA..... hummmm


So if we band together (and sing and hold hands.... nah) we might actually get this through.....

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