Advocacy Alert: Help Support Home Health Budget Amendments

The Massachusetts House of Representatives begins debate on the FY12 budget TODAY!

Please see the pre-written email messages below that are available to send to your legislators. All you have to do is click “write your legislators” under the issue you care about, fill in your contact info and the message will automatically be sent to the State Representative who represents YOU.

HCA is trying to gain support for these important amendments so please send a message and forward this email to colleagues and friends who may be interested in taking action.

Support Pediatric Home Care
»  Write Your Legislators   
 Amendment # 529: Pediatric Home Care Services (Offered 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.

Support Enhanced Care Transitions
»  Write Your Legislators 
 Amendment # 554: Patient Care Transitions (Offered 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 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.
  • This provision would increase the efficiency of care and save costs for the state in avoiding rehospitalizations.

Restore MassHealth Payment Rates to Home Health
»  Write Your Legislators 
Amendment  # 339: Home Health Rates    (Offered 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 that goes from $86.99 to $69.59 for patients that require longer periods of care and who are at a greater risk of inpatient facility admissions or readmissions.  Since all of MassHealth’s home health services receive a 50 percent federal match, the actual state expenditures reflect only half of a $7.1 million budget increase.

Support Telehealth in the FY12 Budget
»  Write Your Legislators      
 Amendment # 681: Telehealth Reimbursement (Offered by Rep. John Mahoney)

  •   In recent years, several states have all moved forward with incorporating coverage of telehealth into their state plan, waiver home care programs, or have authorized funding for demonstration projects to support telemonitoring equipment purchases.
  •   The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also recognize and define telehealth billing and reimbursement practices.
  •   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.
  •   Such lower cost services increase communication with physicians and caregivers, which contributes to the enhancement of care. It also increases patient self-management and is widely regarding as a cost savings measure supported by a number of studies and pilot programs.

Support Home Health in FY12 Budget
»  Write Your Legislators      
 This email message supports all of the above amendments.

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