Skilled Nursing Campaign Garners Media Attention

This week, the Alliance’s parent-provider skilled nursing campaign received national media coverage. The campaign seeks higher reimbursement rates from MassHealth for continuous skilled nursing services. Currently, agencies are unable to compete for nurses with area hospitals, and has led to a 37% nurse turnover rate, and nearly 24% of MassHealth-Authorized service hours going unfilled.

On Sunday, The Boston Globe featured a front-page story into the life of one of the parents caring for a child in the Massachusetts Continuous Skilled Nursing Program. Noelia Ferreira has gone over 100 days without a skilled nurse coming to her home to care for her daughter Abi. The article beautifully explains Noelia’s struggles to find adequate care and her commitment to keeping Abi safe at home.

As a result of this front page feature, WGBH invited Noelia and MA Pediatric Home Nursing Care Campaign founder, Angela Ortiz, to be interviewed by host, Jim Braude. Footage of the interview can be viewed here.

The campaign is leveraging this exposure to raise awareness and momentum in our fight for adequate reimbursement rates. Please visit to write or call Governor Baker urging action.

Advocacy Alert: Send a Message to Support Telehealth and Pediatric Palliative Care

The Massachusetts House and Senate have named members of a select “conference committee” that will work to negotiate differences between the House and Senate budgets for a final version to be sent to Governor Patrick.

Please visit the Home Care Alliance’s Legislative Action Center and send a message to the conference committee members to support two important budget amendments. The message will automatically be sent to conference committee members.

The first (Senate Amendment #718) would create MassHealth reimbursement for telehealth services provided by a certified home health agency.  Language was included in previous budgets with weaker language that did not compel MassHealth to act. This year we again seek the inclusion of this cost-saving service with the words “the commonwealth shall recognize telehealth remote patient monitoring provided by home health agencies as a service to clients otherwise reimbursable through Medicaid” as stated in Senate amendment #718.

The second amendment (Senate amendment # 629) would add $674,789 to the state’s pediatric palliative care program, which serves the unmet physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of children in Massachusetts with life-limiting illnesses.

Since both of these amendments were approved in the Senate budget, but not the House, advocates have to urge that conference committee members support the inclusion of the amendments in their negotiated version. If you live in the area of one of the conference committee members and would like to advocate for these amendments directly, the committee members are listed below with link to their profile pages (including contact info) on the state legislature’s website.

It only takes a minute to send a message and advocate for these important issues!

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