What Do the Recent Legal Victories Mean for the Home Care and Hospice Industry?

Over the past few months, NAHC has won two major victories because of legal actions it has initiated. The first helped do away with the “physician narrative” in the Face-to-Face regulations promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The second invalidated a rule promulgated by the Department of Labor (DOL) which would change the way overtime is computed for home health agencies and abolish the companionship and live-in exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act. These are huge victories and we need to tell our members now — as soon as possible — what the lawsuits mean for their internal operations. We also need to make the case that no victory is permanent so we must keep up the fight against both DOL and HHS. DOL is appealing our victory to the U.S. Circuit Court, and we think we will win. If we don’t, we need to prepare now by raising money and resources to take this to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we have won twice before. With respect to HHS, we are continuing our lawsuit to block what the District Court said was an illegal rule from being in effect during the years 2011-2014. There is some $250 million at stake in home health claims for services rendered to Medicare patients, and we intend to make sure agencies receive payment for services that they provided in good faith. This should be the anchor issue of the entire conference and Congress is standing by, ready to introduce legislation that will assist us.