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Hassan, Shaheen urge greater protections

By ASSOCIATED PRESS - | Apr 7, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues in urging the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to increase access to in-home health care services to protect Medicare beneficiaries from high-risk settings and promote safer access to care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was led by Senators Mark Warner, D-Va., and Tim Scott, R-S.C.

“As we seek additional options for protecting the lives of those most negatively affected by the pandemic, we are writing to encourage you to continue engaging with our offices and relevant stakeholders to build upon these productive steps through effective implementation, along with additional policy levers, as needed, in order to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access physician-administered Part B-covered infused and injectable medicines in the home setting during the COVID-19 public health emergency,” the senators wrote.

The senators continued, “We ask that, as you engage with patient advocates, providers, and other stakeholders, you seek out opportunities to further close remaining gaps and, as much as possible, pursue solutions that provide for continuity and consistency in care. These solutions must ensure beneficiary access to Part B drugs, provide appropriate payment for these drugs, and sufficiently reimburse for administration services rendered when provided in the home setting.”

Hassan and Shaheen are working to support high-risk individuals during this public health emergency, which includes Medicare beneficiaries. The senators voted in favor of the bipartisan CARES Act, which among other important provisions to protect the health and safety of Granite Staters and Americans, includes an increase in Medicare reimbursement rates for COVID-19 patients and delays payment cuts to hospitals that treat a large proportion of Medicaid beneficiaries. Additionally, COVID-19 response legislation that Senators Hassan and Shaheen voted to pass into law earlier this year waives restrictions on the use of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries during this outbreak.

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