Fiscal Cliff Action
NHPCO Public Policy Update:
January 1, 2013
Public Policy Update: Congress Acts on Fiscal Cliff
Early this morning, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly (89-8) passed H.R 8, the Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012, legislation to address many of the components of the fiscal cliff. The House just passed the measure by a vote of 257-167. The President is expected to sign the legislation into law.
The legislative language is still under review by the NHPCO Office of Health Policy staff, but here is a summary of the key provisions impacting hospice:
- The implementation of the 2 percent across-the-board reduction associated with sequestration has been delayed until March 1, 2013.
- A 27 percent cut to Medicare reimbursement scheduled to hit physicians has been delayed for one year. Fortunately, hospice was not included in the $30 billion offset package for this provision.
Because the deal did not address the expiring debt ceiling limit and the delay to sequestration is so abbreviated, Congress is expected to continue to focus on large-scale economic issues throughout the next several months. Additionally, Congress is expected to focus on Medicare as part of an emphasis on entitlement reform this year, so the hospice community will need to stay vigilant in its engagement on policy issues. Stay tuned for additional analysis and updates in the coming days.