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WNY HCA Members Write to Rep. Collins on NPP Authorization Bill

HCA members serving Buffalo, Rochester and surrounding counties sent a letter this week to Western New York Congressman Chris Collins bolstering his support for legislation (H.R. 1825) to allow non-physician-practitioners (NPPs) to order and refer for home health services.

Rep. Collins is sponsor of this priority bill and has indicated his support to move it forward this Congressional session. The bill has widespread bipartisan co-sponsorship, including from 11 members of the New York House Delegation. Please see the list of House cosponsors here. If Representatives serving your patients are not on this list, please contact their offices to urge their co-sponsorship of H.R. 1825 so that we can keep up momentum on this priority bill. If you need any assistance, please contact HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes at rnoyes@hcanys.org.

“At a time when the health care system is looking to home care as a less costly alternative setting, it only makes sense to allow for equitable standards of service authorization,” providers state in the letter (available at https://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03 LetterofSupporttoChrisCollinsHR1825.pdf). “NPP ordering and referring permissions for home care would properly incentivize community-based services and allow for the prompt facilitation of services in the setting where most patients prefer to be – at home. This flexibility is especially important in many of the rural areas we serve throughout Western New York, including in the counties of Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe, Livingston and Ontario, where access to primary care services is enough of a struggle without the added demand on physicians to be the sole gatekeeper for facilitating access to home care.”

Further background on the bill is summarized in the full letter to Rep. Collins, as well as in our recent position papers on federal mandates (https://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/HomeCareRegulationsandMandates.pdf). HCA has engaged members in grassroots advocacy on this bill in the past, including through action items posted to our Legislative Action Center, where providers have sent well over a 1,000 messages on this bill. We need to keep up the momentum of co-sponsorship, support, and eventual passage of this critical bill.

HCA thanks the following members for signing-on to this letter: Judy Baumgartner, President of the Visiting Nurse Association of Western New York, Inc.; Elizabeth Zicari, President of HCR Home Care and a Member of HCA’s Board of Directors; Jane Shukitis, President and CEO of UR Medicine Home Care and a member of HCA’s Board of Directors; Randy Gerlach, President and CEO of Schofield Care; Stephen H. Cohen, MD, President of Lifetime Care; and Joyce Markiewicz, President & CEO of Home & Community Based Care and Executive Vice President at Catholic Health.

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