Please send your legislators a message urging them to sign onto Representative Paul Donato’s budget amendment #769 which would provide funds to increase the pay of these nurses and ensure that our most medically complex citizens have access to the care they need.
Issue Background: The Massachusetts Continuous Skilled Nursing program provides in-home skilled nursing care to support and keep people with medically complex needs safe at home. While MassHealth has recently proposed a very small increase to the rates for this service, the increase does not make up for more than ten years with no increases.
Home care providers find that they are increasingly unable to compete with hospitals and other facilities for nurses; as a result, hours of needed and authorized care are going undelivered, leaving the patients vulnerable to expensive hospitalizations.
In 2016, home health providers reported a 37% turnover rate of their nurses, 53% of them left for higher pay at hospitals.
While demand for home based health and supportive care continues to grow in Massachusetts, the home care industry struggles to recruit and retain essential front line caregivers. New data collected last fall through a survey of home care agencies that contract with the state’s Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs) found that on average 25% of a home care agency’s direct care workforce changes every three months leading to intense instability within the organization.
Please click the link below to write or call your Representatives urging them to sign onto Representative Aaron Vega’s amendment #148 which begins to address the underlying causes for the growing home care worker shortage in Massachusetts and takes steps to assure that their will be workers to meet the demand.
Massachusetts has been successful at rebalancing the long-term care system, and appropriately diverting consumers from nursing facilities to community care. Between FY12 and FY16, MassHealth has experienced a -5.8% reduction in annual bed days. The movement of care from nursing homes to the community has not been been met with the necessary reinvestments in workforce to ensure the workforce is available to support consumers in need of services. MassHealth has not raised the rate of reimbursement for a home health aide in almost a decade.
The Home Care Alliance is pleased to announce its new podcast series, Talking Home Care. In our first episode, Pat Kelleher talks with Tim Ashe about Fazzi Associates’ upcoming “National Home Care and Hospice State of the Industry Study,” a nationwide survey of more than 700 home care and hospice agencies.
Topics they discuss include: Telehealth, point-of-care technology, Medicare & Medicaid reimbursements, and becoming an “invincible” agency. The report is expected to be published later this month and will be available both from Fazzi and the Alliance.