Today the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has graciously allowed me to guest blog on some very important regulatory issues facing home care. I am a home care nurse working in quality and compliance for one the largest home care agencies in the state. Currently, I’m a student at the Yale School of Nursing in their Nursing, Management, Policy, and Leadership program. I am completing an internship here at the Alliance and I plan to end it with a trip to the NAHC “March on Washington” conference this week.
This is a very exciting and challenging time for the industry. Home care is viewed by many as a way to safely and effectively care for people, in a financially sound way. I want to make it THE way for patient-centered care.
As the state and nation look towards care redesign in health care, home care should be at the head of the table for this conversation. Yet at the same time, proposed and enacted federal regulation will do extreme and permanent damage to home care. Currently, the certified home care industry is frantically preparing for the implementation of the Face-to-Face rule that takes effect April 1st. As Bill Dombi from NAHC stated, ” this is the most important Medicare change affecting home care in the last 20 years.”
On a positive note, one of our New England legislators, Senator Susan Collins, is actively working to propel forward a bill that would create greater access to home care for our sickest patients. These are the patients that can’t easily visit a physician’s office due to serious and chronic medical conditions. Senator Collins’ Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011 (S.227) would allow nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, among others, to order home care. While in Washington, I plan on speaking to any legislator who will listen to me about the damaging impact of the Face-to-Face regulation as well as the importance of passing Senator Collins’ bill. I have also lobbied remotely via telephone and using HCA-prepared emails and you can too. It’s quick and easy and makes you feel good after it’s completed.
Now is the time for all of us who work in home care or have loved ones who use home care to lobby our elected representatives to advocate for the preservation of home care.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.