Non-Agency Home Care Workers Fight for their Jobs

With 13,000 home health care jobs still in limbo in Ohio, caregivers and their clients are speaking out about the value of non-agency workers. 

Previously, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) took a bold new step in combating fraud in the home care industry by suggesting a phase-out of up to 13,000 independent providers who bill Medicaid for in-home care.

The proposal, part of Kasich’s budget plan and currently under consideration in the legislature, aims to phase out thousands of providers over a four-year period. As the proposal looms, thousands of home health care aides say they need help saving their livelihoods. 

Shelly Schmit, an independent nurse who works directly for clients, is one of those workers. 

She is insulted that independent workers have been equated with fraudsters, saying that she gives high-quality — and highly personalized — care to patients like 23-year-old Angelica Halcomb, brain damaged since birth.

“She’s not just a number,” Schmit told a local Cincinnati reporter. “She’s not one of many patients. She’s just one of a few and that means she’s going to always get better care from me than from someone who comes in today and may never come back to this home.”

Halcomb’s father also praised the care that Schmit provides, and says he does not want to switch to caregivers who work through an agency.

Independent providers are compiling a petition against Kasich’s plan.

To read more about Schmit’s story, click here

Written by Emily Study

Emily Study

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