Help Support Home Health Amendments in MA House Budget

A new email message is available on the HCA Legislative Action Center that anyone can send to their local state representatives to help support amendments to the FY12 House budget proposal benefiting home health care.

For those unfamiliar with the Alliance’s advocacy emails, the messages are pre-written and will automatically go to the legislator based on the contact information submitted. Once that information is entered, the message is available for review and can be sent and shared with colleagues, friends, and anyone else interested in taking action.

For those preferring to call their elected officials, but may not have their contact information or know who their state rep is, you can type in your information here to find out.

Below is a list of amendments the Home Care Alliance is supporting:

  • Amendment 529: Pediatric Home Care Services, filed by Rep. Michael Brady.

~This amendment does not increase any rate, but merely shifts existing payment recognizing a home health agency’s administrative requirements. Also, this amendment ensures safety and quality by allowing only registered nurses to care for multiple patients in a single setting.

  • Amendment 554: Patient Care Transitions, filed by Rep. Kevin Honan.

~This amendment establishes a special MassHealth rate to reward home health agencies that are successful in helping patients discharged from acute care to avoid a costly re-hospitalization for the same condition for which they were originally hospitalized.

~The hospitalization would have to be avoided for at least 30 days in order for the payment to be administered. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine the rate, which will be based on a nurse-led team model.

  • Amendment 339: Home Health Payment Rates, filed by Rep. David Sullivan.

~The MassHealth home health payment rate was cut by 20 percent to patients receiving skilled nursing care past 60 days of care in December of 2008. This created a new payment category for patients that require longer periods of care and who are at a greater risk of inpatient facility admissions or readmissions. This amendment would restore that rate.

  • Amendment 681: Telehealth Reimbursement, filed by Rep. John Mahoney.

~This amendment would establish MassHealth reimbursement for telehealth (remote patient monitoring) technology.
~Telehealth and remote care management programs are not only proven to reduce admissions to hospitals and nursing homes, but also reduce the frequency of home health visits.

  • Amendment 131: Adult Day Health Services, filed by Rep. Alice Wolf.

~A $55 million cut to ADH services was proposed in the Governor’s budget and this amendment would freeze the level of reimbursement to prevent that from occurring. The amendment would also impose a moratorium on new ADH facilities.

See the full list of House budget amendments here.

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