NAHC to Senate: Make Telehealth Access Permanent

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has joined other health care stakeholders in writing a letter to leaders in both parties in the United States Senate, urging them to make permanent the current telehealth flexibilties created to deal with the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Expanded access to telehealth durng the PHE has…

Congress Seeks Intel on Impact of Travel Nurses on Health Care Sector

Travel nurses have long been a staple of the health care sector, but as the result of the ongoing health professions shortage and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), use of travel nurses has become a much more prevalent aspect of our nation’s health care delivery system.  In conjunction with growth in the demand for…

Key Home Health Legislation Builds Support in Congress

Send a message to Congress now! Help us build even more support The Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2022 (S. 4605/H.R. 8581), a top NAHC Advocacy priority, is building momentum and adding supporters from both parties in both houses of Congress over the past week. As you probably know, this legislation would prevent the…

Who Needs to Fight for Home Care & Hospice? You!

Wednesday, September 14 REGISTER (required) This is a time of great change and challenge for home care and hospice. After years of being on the front lines of a deadly pandemic, providers are now facing the prospect of dealing with policies that endanger access to quality care in the home, as well as growing costs and demands…

Join the Fight for Your Agency, Your Employees, Your Patients

Wednesday, September 14 REGISTER (required) This is a time of great change and challenge for home care and hospice. After years of being on the front lines of a deadly pandemic, providers are now facing the prospect of dealing with policies that endanger access to quality care in the home, as well as growing costs and…

Why Should You Advocate for Home Care & Hospice? This is Why.

Wednesday, September 14 REGISTER (required) Home health providers are facing a devastating payment cut. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) wants Congress to slash the hospice cap. Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) rates continue to be woefully inadequate. Despite unprecedented labor and inflationary challenges, care-in-the-home providers of all kinds continue to lack the policy supports…

NAHC Summer Backyard Advocacy Bash is Back!

August marks the beginning of the annual Summer congressional recess and NAHC’s Summer Backyard Advocacy Bash is back and in full force!

Your elected officials will be in their local home offices, right in your own backyard for the next serval weeks, and we want you to engage with them about our key legislative and regulatory priorities.

Advocacy starts at home with you! You are first-hand experts on the issues and opportunities affecting the home care and hospice communities.

NAHC will be highlighting ONE activity each week that you, your colleagues, family and friends, can take part in to make some noise with your elected officials to ensure the home care and hospice communities have the tools and resources necessary to continue to provide much needed home-based care and community services across the nation.

To kick off our Summer of Backyard Advocacy, we are asking you to harness The Power of One!

  1.  Visit the NAHC Legislative Action Center
  2. TAKE ACTION on ONE Key ISSUE
  3. Then, forward the link to ONE other person and ask them to do the same. 

Together, we can ensure the home care and hospice communities have the support, resources, and protections they need to care for the nation’s most vulnerable during the public health emergency and beyond!

Summer Activity Timeline

  1. Week of August 15th Summer Advocacy Kick-Off: The Power of One
  2. August 22 – Phone Call Frenzy & Virtual Connections
    August 29 – Flood of Letters to the Editor & Virtual Connections
    September 5 – Social Media Blitz
    September 14- Legislative Fly-In (in-person & virtual meetings with lawmakers)
    September 19 – Two are Better than One: NAHC Board of Directors & Partnership Hill Day & Virtual Connections
    September 26 – Letters to the Editors

On behalf of the entire NAHC staff, we thank you for your commitment to the home care and hospice communities and your continued advocacy efforts to ensure every American has access to quality home-based care and services today and in the future.

# NAHCAdvocacy // #AdvocacyInAction // #HomeCareFirst

Questions?

Summer Napier

Director of Grassroots Advocacy at NAHC
snapier@nahc.org

Congress Needs to Hear from You!

  • Wednesday, September 14
  • REGISTER (required)

Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) rates continue to be woefully inadequate.

Despite unprecedented labor and inflationary challenges, care-in-the-home providers of all kinds continue to lack the policy supports they need to meet growing demand.

What are we going to do about it?

Join us in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 14th for a Capitol Hill Day of Advocacy to urge Congress to support policies that will protect and expand access to quality care in the home. You may think you don’t know how to advocate for home health and/or hospice, but the truth is, you’re the perfect person to do it. Why? Because you know the challenges faced by providers better than anyone else because those are the challenges you deal with every single day.

“Decisions are being made right now that will impact almost every home care provider in the country,” said NAHC President William A. Dombi. “NAHC is fighting for you every day in D.C., but visits from actual constituents, real voters with real concerns, make the biggest impression on lawmakers. It is vitally important that providers of care in the home all over the country become engaged on these topics. Other industries have piles of money to throw around, but we have the best people with the best stories. Come to D.C. and tell your story.”

Prior to your meetings with lawmakers, NAHC host a virtual briefing to give a lay of the land in D.C., as well as a full rundown of the top home care and hospice issues currently before Congress. The briefing will be recorded and available to watch on your own schedule.

No need to worry about scheduling meetings with your Senators and Representatives*, we’ll take care of that for you based on the information you provide via registration. Please indicate your preference for scheduling support when registering.

Registration is required. Due to increased security at the Capitol, visitors are not permitted to enter unless they have been added to a list with security prior to the meeting. If we do not have your name for scheduling, you will not be added to their list, and thus unable to participate.

Please register as soon as possible to optimize the meeting scheduling process. September will be very busy on the hill. Delaying registration will limit congressional offices’ ability to meet. NAHC recommends you also book your travel and accommodations as soon as possible (note – there is not a designated hotel for those attending this event)

*Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and heightened security following the January 6th attack not all Congressional offices are conducting in-person meetings. In the event that an in-person meeting is not available we will schedule a virtual meeting and provide the Zoom contact information for it.

NAHC to Congress: Concerns About the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has written to key members of Congress to express concerns about some portions of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act (H.R.4826),  would make a series of changes to the employment arrangements of domestic workers nationwide, as well as provide added supports to the Medicaid HCBS program. NAHC believes the legislation is well-intentioned, but is likely to negatively impact delivery of quality care in the home.

Care delivery in the home can at times be challenging to schedule and subject to the unpredictable occurrences of everyday life. Friends or family unexpectedly come for a visit, an appointment opportunity suddenly becomes available, an overlooked meeting is remembered last minute. The changes can be triggered by the patient, the patient’s family, not just the employer. These instances and others can lead to last minute schedule changes that a home care entity would be financially responsible to the worker for, yet without payment from the patient.

For years home care has faced labor shortages. These shortages have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and compounded by exceedingly high inflation, stiff competition for workers, and high gas prices – a unique challenge faced in home care given the need to commute between clients. Changes as proposed in this bill may further contribute to these shortages as costs of care will increase likely without increased reimbursement from payers such as the VA and Medicaid. Likewise, these added costs cannot easily be passed on to the patient who is often reliant on a fixed income.  These burdens will occur at a time when more workers will be needed to meet the demands of the baby boomer population moving towards old age.

Certain provisions in particular, such as the 30-day housing coverage and 2-week severance pay requirements in the event of termination of live-in domestic workers, in H.R. 4826 would come at a cost for home care providers that would likely result in loss of access to care or increased financial burden on their patients. Home care agencies already operate on narrow margins with a strong understanding of the balance between what a patient can afford and the wages that can be offered to caregivers.

In instances of government funded programs, such as VA and Medicaid, home care companies are not able to simply charge more for services to offset new administrative costs. In these cases, care access will be at risk as providers will likely be compensated less than the cost to provide care. In other words, these companies would need to find a subsidizing source of funds in order to provide care with the only potential source being higher charges to private pay patients. That would make home care an option only for the wealthy private pay patient.

Home Care companies take on great expense for the recruitment, onboarding, and training of workers to provide high quality care to their patients. They will at times include provisions in their contractual agreements with their patients to prevent their direct hiring of the caregiver. In the absence of these agreements, home care agencies can essentially be turned into recruitment and training companies for a consumer. Further, this can lead to a gray-market of care in the home lacking any licensure, oversight, or quality of care standards to avoid the requirement in the bill

As described above, we see several challenges that must be met for home care patients to not be adversely affected. However, we support the inclusion of a four percent increase to the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP). NAHC has long advocated for more robust reimbursements for Medicaid services that are continually underfunded nationwide. We have supported the Better Care Better Jobs Act that would provide an estimated $400 billion infusion into the Medicaid HCBS, and provisions in the Build Back Better package is similar. These funds would be helpful in increasing wages for home care workers and ultimately helping to ensure Americans can access care in their home.

Home care workers enable their patients to maintain independence in their homes, dignity in being active members of their community, and the autonomy of living their lives as they choose. The nature of work in home care is both labor and emotionally intensive as they see their patients at their most vulnerable, building deep bonds that are commonly described as family-like. Workers tend to be women of color and immigrants, themselves vulnerable members of our society. Further supports are essential for their financial stability, though careful consideration and analytical approaches to policy are vital to meeting these without hampering patient access or undue financial burden.

NAHC will continue to advocate for access to care in the home and we will keep you updated on this important issue.

NAHC to Congress: Concerns About the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has written to key members of Congress to express concerns about some portions of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act (H.R.4826),  would make a series of changes to the employment arrangements of domestic workers nationwide, as well as provide added supports to the Medicaid HCBS program.…