There is much philosophical talk about being divisive in our healthcare. I don’t have a problem with being divisive. This is my website and I can write what I want. I am the senior editor – make no mistake.
I do hold myself to certain standards, though and I think I may have fallen short on Monday and understated NAHC’s position on the Caps Limitation bill. What I wrote was that both NAHC and The Partnership denied involvement regarding the introduction of the bill.
In a nutshell the facts are:
NAHC – The organization that represents home health care and hospice on a national level has spoken out against the caps. This is exactly what Bill Dombi of NACH wrote to me:
We do not support the episode cap and, in fact, have actively conveyed our opposition to Senate and House members.
The Partnership – A group of publicly traded homecare companies, plus a few stragglers, originally drafted the language in the bill but denies knowledge of how it was introduced. This is what Eric Berger of The Partnership wrote in an email to me:
Like others throughout our community, the Partnership views targeted program integrity reform as a preferable alternative to further across-the-board cuts or the reimposition of cost-sharing that would impact innocent beneficiaries and their compliant providers.
There’s only one sentence but if it were clinical documentation it would result in a denial. Here are just a few of the questions it raises:
- Who are the ‘others’ in our community?
- Targeted Program integrity reform is what exactly? Capping episode limits based on an arbitrary number determined by people who have never laid hands on a patient?
- If there are innocent patients and compliant providers, does that mean that there are guilty beneficiaries? Is that where the problem lies?
As I stated in a post last week, there are some people who simply cannot write. I cannot dance, remember? The next email I received late Sunday night left no doubt about the position of the Partnership. Again, from Eric Berger:
As for the Partnership’s plans with respect to this bill, we will not be taking any action on it — our total focus is on the rebasing and face-to-face regulations that pose a significant threat to our community.
Initially, I was not going to make a big deal about this. My concern is the bill itself – not The Partnership. The members of The Partnership pay serious money to be a part of the elite group of companies that pay for lobbying efforts designed to benefit their companies. Whether you like it or not, I do not believe there is anything illegal about it.
So while it is very true that both NAHC and The Partnership deny having anything to do with the introduction of the bill, their positions on the bill could not be further apart. I think that my original post would have been better if I had highlighted these differences.
Because honestly, while I believe Eric Berger when he says The Partnership had nothing to do with the introduction of the bill, I worry about his documentation skills. He’s like a nurse who leaves the vital signs section blank and states the patient is stable. We assume the nurse forgot to document the vital signs but it may be that the patient is dead.