Home Care and Hospice Nurses, Aides, and Providers March on Washington, DC
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON D.C. (March 14, 2014) The members of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice will come together on March 23-26, 2014, for NAHCs annual March on Washington Conference & Exposition. Representatives from hundreds of home care and hospice agencies nationwide will converge on Capitol Hill and act on their right to petition members of the House and Senate. By telling their stories, they aim to show how home care fulfills the promise of health care reform by letting our seniors and disabled get the care they need at home. It also offers a strong value proposition by improving outcomes while driving down costs that stop us from meeting the needs of our aging population.
Home care is a recognized answer to high Medicare expenditures. Yet spending on home health is projected to grow at less than half the rate of spending on skilled nursing facility care. Lack of fair reimbursement has already pushed thousands of providers into the red and limited access to home health care. Without needed changes, many patients will have no alternative to costly institutional options.
For the sake of patients and providers, NAHC will urge Congress to take the following steps:
- Reject proposals that would impose home health or hospice copays and payment cuts to offset the cost of fixing the Medicare physician payment formula or reducing the current deficit.
- Enact the bipartisan Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S. 1332; H.R. 2504) allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify and change home health plans of treatment. NPs and PAs can now certify Medicare eligibility for skilled nursing facility care but not for care in the home.
- Offer home care and hospice reimbursement for technologies that would increase health information exchange, promote care coordinationespecially for patients with multiple chronic conditionsand empower patients to take greater responsibility for their health.
- Closely oversee CMS efforts to revise the hospice payment system and reject efforts to rebase hospice payments.
These changes will improve outcomes and satisfaction among patients and their families. They will also answer a pressing demand by members of the baby boom generation. The need for home health care will only increase over the next 19 years as the 78 million boomers reach their 65th birthday at the rate of 10,000 per day. The boomers, like the vast majority of patients, will choose home health because it gives them independence and keeps families together longtime goals of home health care.
For decades home care has provided the aged, disabled, and chronically ill with dignified, effective, and efficient treatment, said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. Today, millions of Americans still depend on home care to remain healthy, stable, and out of costly institutional settings. They have the right to receive care in their homes, and our goal is to defend it. During our march on Capitol Hill, we will educate lawmakers on key issues facing the patients we serve.
Trade media is invited to attend sessions of particular interest:
Monday, March 24, 9:15 am 10:15 am*: Keynote Addresses by political analysts Alex Castellanos (CNN) and Mark Shields (PBS NewsHour) *Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
Tuesday, March 25, 8:30 am 10:00 am*: Congressional Breakfast and Briefing featuring some of Congresss leading voices that have advocated for home care and hospice in recent years. Confirmed speakers are Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Greg Walden (R-OR) with more being added weekly. *Russell Senate Office Building, Caucus Room 325, Washington D.C.
Wednesday, March 26, 12:00 pm 1:30 pm*: Luncheon Keynote Address. *Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
To RSVP for these events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 547-7424. For more information about the March on Washington, click here.
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 to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.