Health care reform still needs work, home health care associations said Thursday following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA, a hotly debated and revolutionary piece of health care legislation, has implications for all Americans—currently insured or uninsured. For home health care providers, there are also some potential concerns.
“The Affordable Care Act needs improvement,” the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) President Val J. Halamandaris told HHCN. “There were a lot of provisions thrown in in an effort to get something passed.”
In all, Halamandaris, said, the legislation is “pretty light” on long term care, including home health care provisions.
NAHC is urging Congress to delay implementation of the provisions set to go live in 2014 for an additional two years, to allow for states to get up to speed.
“NAHC will ask that its implementation date be delayed for two years so that states have the time to prepare for implementation including the creation of exchanges,” Halamandaris said in a statement.
While ultimately the reform is seen as a good thing, improvement upon it is needed for an industry that has already suffered under recent Medicare cuts, he said.
“Home health care has been cut disproportionately,” Halamandaris said.
From a home care employer advocacy standpoint, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, which works for the direct-care workforce, praised the legislation’s affordable coverage for 900,000 direct care workers.
“We are especially pleased that 900,000 direct-care workers will finally have access to affordable health coverage,” PHI wrote in a statement. “This is great news for America’s elders and people living with disabilities. These workers—more than a quarter of whom have no coverage today—provide care to millions of individuals who need assistance with daily intimate tasks such as dressing, bathing, toileting, preparing and eating meals, and taking medications.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker