The Home Care Alliance’s priority amendments in the House budget now have numbers, which means you can email or call your state representative and easily ask that they support these important policies to advance home care services!
Amendment #968: Rep. Sean Garballey’s amendment to restore the MassHealth rate for home health nursing visits past 60 days of care to the payment level prior to December 1, 2008 so that patients with the most severe conditions can have their care continued and remain independent at home. MassHealth cut the rate once a person was receiving home nursing for more than 60 days, which runs counter to the state’s goal of keeping people in the community and driving down the cost of care.
Amendment #89: Rep. Kate Hogan’s amendment to study home health service capacity in the Commonwealth and recommend policy strategies for better state oversight of home care agencies. Massachusetts is one of only five states without either licensure or a “determination of need” process for home health agencies. In recent years the Commonwealth has experienced rapid growth in the number of certified home health agencies. This proposal is in response to that growth and would help to identify the current number of home health agencies and their licensure and ensure high levels of quality home care.
Amendment #491: Rep. John Mahoney and Rep. Mark Cusack’s amendment that would establish MassHealth reimbursement for telehealth services provided by home health agencies. This amendment was successfully passed in last year’s budget and this year’s version will ensure MassHealth is statutorily able to finish their work in creating a regulatory and reimbursement structure.
Amendment #775: Rep. James O’Day’s amendment to reestablish the Homemaker Wage Increase account. This appropriation would provide an annualized wage increase of approximately 75 cents an hour to over 17,000 homemakers and personal care homemakers.
You can also call 617-722-2000 and press “2″ to speak to an operator in the House of Representatives to urge your State Rep to support amendments #89, #491, #775 and #968. You can use the talking points above when speaking to an aide or leaving a message.