Hundreds of home care professionals will gather in Washington next week to speak in the interest of home care advocacy. Members of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice representing all 50 states will visit Capitol Hill to petition House and Senate members to urge Congress to protect and expand access to home care and hospice services for all Americans.
The annual March on Washington & Law Symposium Conference and Exposition will focus on home health and hospice services at a time when state and federal budget cuts threaten access to the care they provide.
“Today, millions of America’s seniors and disabled citizens depend on home care services to remain healthy, stable, and out of costly traditional settings,” said Val Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. “For decades, caring for the elderly, disabled and chronically ill at home has provided a dignified and high-efficient method of treatment. Our goal with this march is to educate elected officials to avoid obstacles to this care.”
The conference, to take place March 25 through March 28, has several goals, including securing the strategic role Congress intends for home care and hospice, ensuring appropriate and adequate reimbursement for and access to Medicare home health services and protecting and expanding access to home care, among others.
“The annual march comes at a time when the Medicare home care benefit which was $17 billion in 2009 has been cut by $77 billion over the next ten years,” NAHC said in a press release. “As a result of these cuts about 50 percent of all Medicare participating agencies will be under water in 2012 — that is, paid less than their costs by Medicare, even though home care and hospice is more cost effective, saving billions in Medicare expenditures.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker