HOME HEALTH CARE: Agencies Challenge New Medicare Rules
Home health care agencies are asking a federal judge in Dallas "to impose a national injunction to stop the government from implementing" a new payment formula that "is projected to save Medicare $3.1 billion this year." Home health providers contend that the payment rules threaten their ability to operate. Plaintiffs' attorney Craig Florence argued before U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders that the new rules "would discriminate against the sickest and frailest people in our country." But Justice Department attorney David Buchholz defended the rules, arguing: "Whether the agencies will suffer irreparable harm is irrelevant. The public's interest in preserving the Medicare system for future generations certainly outweighs the plaintiffs' interest in higher Medicare payments." The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram notes that testimony in the case "is expected to continue through Friday" (Brooks, 6/11).'This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.