Last week MassHealth announced their plans to address a $300 million budget gap with cuts to, among other things, adult dental benefits, limitations to the personal care attendant program, and increases in generic drug co-pays. The Boston Globe reported on this issue on November 14 and noted in the story’s headline that the cuts “hit” home care, which bears clarifying.
The cuts that the Globe was referencing as reductions in home care are the following:
- Personal care attendant benefits will no longer be available to patients who require PCA’s for less than 15 hours per week.
- The entire budget for the Aging Service Access nursing home pre-screening initiative was eliminated. This was a relatively new line item that paid the ASAPs to educate (primarily hospitalized) clients about their options between nursing home care and care at home. While unfortunate, the cut does not directly effect the in-home services of ASAP funded home care.
The Home Care Alliance is pleased that any further damaging cuts to the home care funding and to home health rates were avoided in this round. We appreciate all the members who took the time to contact the Governor with information about the fragility of services and agencies under the current MassHealth reimbursement structure.
With no positive budget information in site, visibility and advocacy remains essential. Please check back to our blog for updates, send messages from our legislative action page, and check our special YouTube site for new videos on our home care visits with legislators for National Home Care Month and other advocacy efforts.
In these very challenging times, the Alliance will continue to strongly advocate for the interests of home care, home health and the patients they care for.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.