National Association for Home Care & Hospice Creates Important New Medicaid Affiliate
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2012) Andrea Devoti, Chairman of the Board of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) today announced the creation of a new NAHC affiliate specifically focused on Medicaid home care and hospice issues.
We are delighted to announce the creation of a new entity which has been created under the NAHC umbrella, said Ms. Devoti. We are pleased to note that the Medicaid home care and hospice programs which are several times as large as the comparable Medicare programs will now receive increased legislative and regulatory support and attention from NAHC that these vital programs deserve.
Ms. Devoti added that the new affiliate was the result of encouragement from the grass roots membership and NAHCs affiliated State Associations. She noted that State governments are under great pressure trying to come up with the funds to pay for their share of Medicaid. The Chairman said that she will appoint Mr. David J. Totaro, Chief Marketing and Government Affairs Officer, BAYADA Home Health Care chair of the group. Mr. Totaro is a highly qualified professional who will serve until the NAHC Bylaws can be amended to allow this position to be elected just like each of the other affiliates. The NAHC membership will be given the opportunity to join and participate in this new section, said Ms. Devoti.
We are asking States to cover millions more people under Medicaid, but not providing them with the financial help that they need to help carry this burden, said Mr. Totaro. In many States, we see the continuation of the institutional bias which results in thousands of persons being placed into institutional settings rather than cared for in the less expensive and preferred comfort of their own homes. We intend to change this. We shall make sure that aged and infirm seniors and people with disabilities enjoy their constitutionally protected right to enjoy their freedoms, including being cared for at home.
Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC who will direct the activities of this, as well as other affiliates, has designated Bill Dombi, NAHCs Vice President for Law to help carry out the responsibilities of this new affiliate, the National Council for Medicaid Home Care until a permanent director can be hired. We cannot wait any longer. Medicaid is a very explosive issue. We need to take action and to do so now, said Halamandaris.
In addition to David Totaro, Ms. Devoti thanked Mark Heaney, CEO of Addus Healthcare, Ken Lovan, Senior Vice President of ResCare, Tim Rogers, CEO of the Association for Home and Hospice Care for North Carolina and the South Carolina Home Care and Hospice Association, Bob Creamer, CEO of Loving Care Agency, and W. John Langley, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Maxim Healthcare Services for their role in encouraging the creation of the new affiliate and for agreeing to serve as founding Board members. She said that she was determined to press for changes in the Bylaws which would invest this affiliate with a seat on the NAHC Board.
Medicaid is a federal health care grant-in-aid program for indigents. It was created in 1965 as a companion to the Medicare program which is a federal health insurance program. Where Medicare is all federal money, Medicaid is a program where states pay a share from a high of 50 percent to a low of about 20 percent depending on their size and per capita income in order to support the health care initiative.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services each year to some 12 million Americans who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Along with its advocacy, NAHC is committed to excellence in every respect and provides information to help its members maintain the highest quality of care. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org and www.caring.org.