Alliance to Pitch Homecare IT Stimulus Funding

Expanding the use of healthcare information technology is a key focus of the federal economic stimulus program.  While the bulk of this funding is targeted for hospitals and physicians’ offices, the states have significant flexibility in how they distribute some of the funds.

The Alliance has scheduled a meeting with Mitch Adams, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, on Monday, June 1, to make our case for having some of those funds directed toward home health IT.

We need three or four agency IT directors to participate in this meeting to:

  • Describe how agencies currently utilize IT
  • Outline the possibilities for greater efficiencies and better care coordination and integration through expanded use of IT by home health agencies
  • Identify the “bang for the buck” that would result from investing stimulus finds into home health IT.

Members interested in participating in this important meeting should contact Tim Burgers, Associate Director at

Alliance Budget Priority Message to Ways & Means

Testimony to the Joint Committee on Ways & Means regarding our budget priorities
60 Day Cut Fact Sheet
Telehealth Fact Sheet

Home health services are an important part of caring for the elderly, mentally ill and otherwise infirm citizens of Massachusetts and helps individuals remain independent in their homes and communities. Home health is also cost-effective in keeping patients out of nursing homes and hospitals as well as reducing visits to the emergency room. The industry carries with it opportunities for further cost savings, but the circumstances of our economy have hindered their advancement.

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Alliance Testimony on Fair Share Contributions

Pat Kelleher’s Testimony on Fair Share Contributions

Our primary concern with these proposed changes is their impact on our smaller, private care home care companies.  These companies have emerged to meet a growing need for quality affordable elder care in our state; they are providing new jobs in our state, often for workers who are new to the workplace. But the work hours fluctuate widely for their direct care workers depending on the number of clients, on each client’s health status, and even the time year. Over this past year the vast majority of these entities have done what they believed the state wanted them to do. They worked to comply with the law, including the state’s new fair share rules, and filing deadlines. Few opted to pay rather than comply.  With these proposed changes, especially including that quarterly test, it seems to them that what the state now wants is not compliance, but payment.

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Alliance Testimony to Health IT Council

Alliance Executive Director Pat Kelleher’s testimony to the Health IT Council

The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts represents nearly 150 member agencies employing more than 19,000 workers who provide over 5 million home care visits each year.  The services they deliver to approximately 175,000 elderly, mentally ill and otherwise infirm Massachusetts residents should qualify these agencies as “meaningful users” of Electronic Health Records with Health Information Exchange connectivity.

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Alliance Fights Cut to Home Health Rates

Pat Kelleher’s testimony regarding the January 22 hearing in front of the Division of Health Care Finance & Policy on MassHealth’s cut to home health rates.

Despite a rate that barely covers average direct costs, the state is now asking that agencies absorb the expenses associated with a 20% rate cut on approximately 40% of visits.  It’s difficult for home health agencies to see equity in such a cut and freeze reflected across the long term care system.

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