Congressman Barney Frank Responds to Alliance Letter

The Alliance recently received a response from the office of Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank after Home Care Alliance Executive Director Patricia Kelleher urged him to sign onto two home health initiatives:  One was a letter opposing damaging cuts to home health and the other asked that he sign on to the Home Health Working Group.

Both of those initiatives were led by Frank’s colleague, Congressman Jim McGovern. The Alliance appreciates the response and the support that Congressman Frank offered.  Click here to see the sign-on letter opposing cuts to home health, along with the supporting signatures from members of Congress.

See the Alliance’s letter sent to Congressman Frank below, which was sent to the entire state’s Congressional Delegation in late April, and click here to see Frank’s response.

Dear Congressman Frank:

On behalf of Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, I urge you to sign on to a pair of initiatives championed by your colleagues James McGovern and Walter Jones that opposes home health care cuts in the President’s budget and establishes a House Home Health Working Group.

Home-based services promote independent living for seniors and other individuals in need of care, which help them to remain in their communities where they are most comfortable and familiar. These services are cost-effective in keeping patients out of the hospital and nursing homes. At an economically challenging juncture when home health rates are being frozen and reduced in Massachusetts on the state level, we need to encourage and expand the utilization of home-based care rather than make damaging cuts.

The Working Group will look to further the role of home health in our nation’s health care delivery system while the McGovern-Jones “dear colleague” letter – addressed to the Committee on Ways & Means – resists the President’s proposal to cut Medicare home health payments by $13.16 billion over the next five years. If the President’s proposal is allowed to pass, Massachusetts would lose $16.7 million in Medicare reimbursement for fiscal year 2010 alone. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report may have uncovered sporadic fraud in home health, but a better approach to controlling Medicare home health spending is to prosecute and punish the few agencies responsible for that fraud instead of reducing rates.

Again, please contact the offices of Congressman McGovern and/or Congressman Jones to support your constituents who deliver and receive home health care services.

Sincerely,

Patricia Kelleher
Executive Director

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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