R 247
98-S 3072
Enacted 5/19/98

S E N A T E    R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Representatives Fogarty and Issa

Date Introduced : April 21, 1998

WHEREAS, Rhode Island has the third highest proportion of persons age 65 and over in the country; and

WHEREAS, The number of Rhode Islanders age 85 and over is the fastest growing segment of the population; and

WHEREAS, Medicare home care services play a vital role in keeping frail elders and other disabled persons functioning optimally and living at home; and

WHEREAS, In fiscal year 1995, nineteen thousand (19,000) Rhode Islanders received home care services financed through the federal Medicare program; and

WHEREAS, Changes in Medicare home care provisions under the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997 call for $16.2 billion in savings from the home care portion of the Medicare budget; and

WHEREAS, Hundreds of vulnerable Rhode Island Medicare beneficiaries face the termination of home care services due to these Medicare changes; and

WHEREAS, In the absence of these vital home care services, many of these vulnerable Rhode Islanders will be "at risk" of more costly institutionalization and a lessening of their quality of life; and

WHEREAS, The changes in reimbursement methods mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 include the implementation of an Interim Payment System that is causing a disproportionate revenue loss to Rhode Island home care providers that have historically provided service in a more efficient manner; and

WHEREAS, The changes in home care reimbursement under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 are placing a substantial number of Rhode Island home care agencies in financial jeopardy; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby respectfully requests the United States Congress to pass H.R. 3205, The IPS Technical Corrections Act, or other similar legislation that will soften the harsh effects of the Medicare home care changes on Rhode Island beneficiaries by: (1) delaying the implementation of the per beneficiary limits under the Interim Payment System from October 1, 1997 to October 1, 1998; (2) allowing the Health Care Financing Administration until August 1, 1998 to establish the per beneficiary limits; and (3) changing the cost reporting period data from federal fiscal year 1994 to fiscal or calendar year 1995; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he is hereby authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the entire Rhode Island delegation to the United States Congress.

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