Overview of Public Option Proposals in Health Reform

With a renewed focus on the inclusion of the public option in national health reform efforts, CNN.com offers an overview that compares general proposals relative to government-operated health insurance.

See CNN.com’s “Public Option Fuels Debate” here.

To read more on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan and reaction to it, check these stories by:

The Associated Press, MSNBC, and the New York Times Politics Blog


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New Advocacy Message Available: Keep Care in the Community

Please visit our Legislative Action Center where the Alliance has posted a new message to Governor Deval Patrick and his administration.

The message, titled “Governor: Please Keep Care in the Community” points out the fact that home health agencies and VNA’s are still dealing with the cuts from last year and could not survive any further reductions.

The Alliance has already sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, Assistant Secretary Jean McGuire and their staff regarding Governor Deval Patrick’s announcement that Massachusetts is facing a $600 million shortfall. Among the Governor’s “five-point” plan for addressing the gap involves laying off 2,000 state employees and management furloughs, consolidating state agencies wherever possible, calling unions to the table, and calling for legislative action on the Governor’s municipal relief package to mitigate cuts to local aid.

Please help us advocate by sending your own message to the Governor.

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Health Care Reform Breakfast, Part III

Join other Alliance members, along with Tim Rowan, editor of Home Care Technology Report and representatives of the Massachusets eHealth Collaborative and Information Technology Committee for a discussion of the new federal and state goals around electronic health records, and other health IT issues of interest to post acute and long term care providers.  This event is on November 5th at the Radission Hotel in Boston and it is free; but preregistration is required.

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VNA of Boston Names New President-CEO

The following is an announcement from the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston:

Reynold G. Spadoni to Lead the Nation’s Oldest Home Healthcare Organization

BOSTON — The Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates (VNAB), the oldest home healthcare organization in the country and one of the largest in New England has recently named Reynold G. Spadoni as President and Chief Executive Officer.

John Murphy, Chairman of the VNAB’s board of directors, expressed confidence in Spadoni’s ability to lead the agency’s comprehensive home health programs.

“Rey has extensive experience in the health care arena, including several leadership positions in public health, managed care, community health centers and hospitals.” said Murphy, “Rey is a highly respected leader with a strong sense of mission and ethics. He has demonstrated a keen eye for expanding programs and creating new opportunities while maintaining focus on quality patient care.  I know that the organization, our patients, their families and the community will benefit from his tremendous skills.”

“I’m extremely pleased and honored to join an organization with such a rich history of serving patients and families throughout Eastern Massachusetts.” said Spadoni, “VNAB’s mission, track record and exceptional staff are compelling and vital during this time of great change in our industry and I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity.”

Spadoni joins the organization from his role as Vice President of Operations and Development at Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

Spadoni has a career that spans more than 25 years working in various leadership roles in the health care industry. He previously held senior management positions at Quincy Medical Center, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Dimock Community Health Center, Ernst and Young and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

In his new role, Spadoni assumes overall responsibility for administration of the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates, which includes end-of-life support through VNA Hospice Care and private pay services through VNA Private Care.

The VNAB is one of the largest home healthcare agencies in New England with more than 500 employees and an operating budget of $44 million.  In 2008, it provided 250,000 home care visits to more than 12,000 patients.  Spadoni has a B.A. from Holy Cross College and an M.B.A. from Boston University.

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Boston Globe Letter to the Editor: PCA Oversight Bears Addressing

For the second time in a year, the Boston Globe has reported on fraud and abuse uncovered in the personal care attendant program based on a study by the state auditor’s office.

In a letter to the editor, the Home Care Alliance chose to reiterate a point in the article for readers that personal care attendants (PCA’s) are not subject to background checks and certification requirements as home health aides and visiting nurses. The prior article blurred the line between the two categories of workers, to which the Alliance had also taken action by submitting a letter to the Globe.

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Alliance Responds to Budget Shortfall Announcement

The Alliance has strongly urged the Patrick Administration to recognize that home health cannot sustain any further reductions and we will continue to advocate as necessary.

In response to the Governor’s recent announcement of a $600 million budget shortfall, the Home Care Alliance has sent a letter to Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, Assistant Secretary Jean McGuire, and their staff.

In the letter, which can be viewed here, the Alliance states:

As the administration works to implement its plan to address a $600 million shortfall, we offer our assistance as an organization and an industry, but also strongly urge you to recognize that home health care cannot sustain any further cuts. The cost-effectiveness of home health care has been well-documented during the past year and proves the industry’s value.

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Congressman Markey Holding Town Hall on Health Care

Following up on a recent town hall forum in the eastern part of his district, Congressman Ed Markey is heading further west to hold another meeting in Natick.

WHO: Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Malden)

WHAT: Health Care Reform Town Hall

WHEN: 7:00PM; Monday, October 19, 2009

Wilson Middle School Auditorium
22 Rutledge St., Natick

Congressman Markey has an influential position in the national health care reform debate as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which was one among the trio of Congressional committees that introduced the “Tri-Committee Bill.”

If you are interested in attending this forum and would like information on the potential impact on home health, you can view the NAHC talking points, or contact us for more information.

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