HCA Celebrates National Nurses Week

The Home Care Alliance is proud to join associations and medical providers from across the state and country in celebrating National Nurses Week.

Every year on May 6-12, National Nurses Week raises awareness of the value of nursing and the hard work performed everyday by nurses in all health care settings. In particular, the Home Care Alliance thanks the nurses working in home health care – along with the therapists, social workers, aides and other staff that are part of the care team with nurses – to ensure that people can remain at home for as long as possible.

Recently, the Home Care Alliance held the annual Home Care Innovations Showcase and Star Awards where the association recognized Patricia Darling from the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston and Shirley Lucier of VNA Care Network  with HCA’s “Clinician of the Year” awards. Many of the Innovation Awards to home health agencies recognized forward-thinking practices or policies that involved nurses as a vital component.

For those looking to join in recognizing nurses, the American Nurses Association hosts a special National Nurses Week website with resources and reports on the nursing profession and how to celebrate.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

IHI Releases “How-to-Guide” for Home Health/Community Settings

This week the Institute for HealthCare Improvement (IHI) posted on their website, The How-to Guide: Improving Transitions from the Hospital to Post-Acute Care Settings to Reduce Avoidable Re-hospitalizations. This How-to-Guide is designed to support hospital-based teams and their community partners to co-design and reliably implement improved care processes to ensure that patients who have been discharged from the hospital have an ideal transition to home or to the next community care setting. The Home Care Alliance is acknowledged as a contributor and editor of this document.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Advocacy Alert: Contact Your State Rep. Today to Support Home Care in FY13 Budget

The Massachusetts House of Representatives begins work on their version of the FY13 State Budget today and the Home Care Alliance needs your help sending emails to support home care’s priorities!

Visit our Legislative Action Center or see the issues below to send any of the pre-written messages that concern you and your agency. It only takes ONE MINUTE to enter your contact information, review your information, and the system will automatically send the message to the state representatives for your area.

Urge your state representative to support the following issues:

Restore Home Health Rates

»  Write Your Legislators    »  Read About This Issue  

Support Telehealth Reimbursement from MassHealth

»  Write Your Legislators    »  Read About This Issue  

Support Certificate of Need for Home Care

»  Write Your Legislators    »  Read About This Issue  

Support Pediatric Home Care

»  Write Your Legislators    »  Read About This Issue 


Compose Your Own Message

»  Write Your Legislators


Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

State Budget Update: House Ways and Means Releases Budget Proposal

The House Committee on Ways & Means released its proposal for the state’s fiscal year 2013 budget and while there are few changes in dollar amounts, here are the initial highlights:

  • The MassHealth Managed Careaccount (line item 4000-0500) follows the Governor’s proposal by increasing $183,988,029 over FY12 spending to $4,164,475,376.
  • The MassHealth Senior Care account (line item 4000-0600) also followed Governor’s budget blueprint by increasing $196,976,192 over FY12 spending to $2,763,630,662 .
  • The MassHealth Fee-for-Service Payments account (4000-0700) maintained the Governor’s proposal of increasing $129,850,745 over FY12 spending to $1,939,680,126.
  • Elder Enhanced Home Care Services (9110-1500) was given a bigger increase by House Ways & Means of $827,853 – as opposed to the Governor’s $672,147 – to a total of $47,289,340.
  • The Home Care Purchased Services account (9110-1630) is level funded at $97.8 million.
  • The Elder Nutrition account (9110-1900) is level funded at $6.3 million, which would restore a cut of $1.5 million made by the Governor.

This all essentially means that House Ways & Means followed the Governor when it came to the MassHealth accounts, which were increased with funding, but only to account for anticipated increases in enrollment. This budget proposal also shows a commitment to the state’s Home Care Program and restores the Elder Nutrition Program that funds “meals on wheels.”

What is not seen is increases to MassHealth home health rates or any language related to telehealth services, pediatric home care and a certificate of need process. The Home Care Alliance is pushing for amendments on these matters and will let member agencies, supporters and advocates know when they are officially submitted.

Additional items of note include a special commission to study elder protective services, increase public awareness of elder abuse, and establish reporting mechanisms.

Stay tuned as more information will be reported as it becomes available.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

HCA Goes to Washington

The Home Care Alliance and member agencies will join other associations and agencies from across the country for the annual NAHC March on Washington.


The annual conference provides a chance to lobby members of Congress on issues of concern and thank those who have supported our causes. For those who are not traveling to Washington DC, the Alliance has made materials available (see below) to use as a guide for a “virtual lobby day” on March 27th when HCA and members visit with the state’s congressional delegation.

Pre-written advocacy messages are available to send off on the virtual lobby day under “Federal/National Issues” on the Alliance’s Legislative Action Center and click any messages that are of concern or interest. The messages will automatically be sent to the correct member of Congress once the online form is filled out asking for contact information. There is also an option to “compose your own message” near the top of that webpage.

If HCA members and advocates choose to contact their

federal representatives by phone, the Alliance has assembled the following materials and fact sheets on some of home care’s priorities, but we invite you to share your own issues and concerns as well.

Finally, be sure to follow the Alliance’s activity in DC, including photos and updates, on Twitter.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Help HCA Celebrate National Nurses Week and National VNA Week

National Nurses Week

The Home Care Alliance and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) have plenty of material available to help people and organizations celebrate both National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and National VNA Week (May 8-15).

  • National Nurses Week:

For those looking to celebrate nurses, especially visiting nurses, and their work, the Alliance has a template press release that organizations may use.

  • National VNA Week:

Visiting Nurse Associations have a number of materials available, including:

Key messages and Fact Sheet

National VNA Week Poster

Sample Press Release

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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