Nurses in Connecticut oppose proposed changes that would allow non-licensed workers to administer medicine to home-care patients, according to a Hartford Courant article published last week.
The two proposals are designed to move Medicaid patients from nursing homes to residential care, and are estimated to reduce the rates for nurses’ home visits by 10%, the article states.
“We want to support the governor’s budget to make sure that health care is made affordable, but also so that it reimburses the providers of that health care,” said Deborah Hoyt, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association for Home Care & Hospice. She and other nurses’ representatives are in discussion with state officials about the proposal. The bill is being worked on in the legislative commissioner’s office and then will be sent to the appropriations committee.
The reduction would lower the rate of each visit to a patient’s home from $60 to $54. Hoyt said the state should fully explore other ways to minimize inefficiencies before cutting nurses’ income.
As for allowing non-licensed workers to administer medication to home health patients, Hoyt said she’s not opposed to this but there should be a detailed process for determining how to delegate those people.
“We’re working out the nuts and bolts of the exact language on how nurses delegate to less trained home health care workers,” Hoyt said. “We have to get this right because this is the future. People are going to be cared for at home, and we’re dedicated to making sure that these people are safe.”
The main problem with the governor’s bill, she said, is that it makes administering medications seem a lot simpler than it really is.
“These are individuals who are taking narcotics; they’re taking some pretty strong medications,” Hoyt said. “They have conditions that are serious, so it’s not taken lightly.”
Read the original article.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker