Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:39 PM
The National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has written a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressing their concerns that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) does not prioritize home care.
The letter starts with the fact that 12 million people receive home care annually – many of those 12 million use home care and truly depend on it.
The letter notes that over the last 35 years, increasing access to quality home care was a priority for every administration and Congress. That history of bipartisan support “established a guiding principle for any health care or health care insurance reform – access to home care is essential. Home care is the bedrock of health care and it brings security and well-being to the nation.”
NAHC reviewed the American Health Care Act and noticed there is not commitment to make access to home care a priority.
“For example, the bill eliminates an important Medicaid option, the Community First Choice benefit, which encourages states to shift spending to cost-effective home care” despite the fact that numerous states have embraced that new benefit. “Still, the failure of some states to offer a robust home care option is evident even with the financial incentives under the Community First Choice program. The current per capita caps formula will be a roadblock to the expansion of access to home care in Medicaid. The elimination of the Community First Choice program is, as well.”
The letter also states that while most states offer hospice services to their Medicaid populations, this is still optional and “absent any requirement that states offer a meaningful end-of-life benefit, imposition of caps or other limits on funding for Medicaid services will create tremendous pressure on states, and will place existing coverage of hospice care at serious risk.”
NAHC encourages the U.S. House of Representatives to take steps that will advance access to home care and hospice for the millions of Americans who receive it and the additional million that want it in the future.
To read the signed letter, click here.
For the full article, click here.
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