Industry Leaders Head to Nation’s Capitol to Fight for Right of Every Texan to Receive Care in Their Own Home
Industry Provides Cost-Effective Care, Saving Taxpayers Billions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Texas home care and hospice providers are joining members of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice in Washington March 25-28 to encourage federal lawmakers to protect and expand access to home care and hospice services for the elderly, disabled, medically frail and dying.
Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice (TAHC&H) members are meeting with the Texas congressional delegation and staff to highlight the benefits and value of home care and hospice for Texans and taxpayers.
“The home is fast becoming the center of health care among elderly, disabled and medically frail Texans,” said Anita Bradberry, executive director of TAHC&H. “Today, millions of seniors and disabled Americans depend on home care services to recover from illnesses and injuries, manage chronic conditions and remain healthy, stable and out of costly facility settings.”
The visits come at a critical time for the industry when the Medicare home health benefit – which was $17 billion in 2009 – has been cut by $77 billion over the next 10 years. As a result of these cuts, 49 percent of all Medicare participating agencies – including more than 57 percent of Texas home health providers – will be reimbursed less than the cost of care in 2012.
Yet home health and hospice are the most cost-effective methods of care for Medicare and Medicaid, costing $44 on average per day for home health care compared to $559 per day in a typical nursing home and $1932 per day for a typical hospital stay.
“Home health care contributes to billions of dollars in taxpayer savings by preventing or reducing the use of more expensive institutional care options,” said Bradberry.
The trip coincides with the Law Symposium Conference & Exposition which brings together the nation’s home care and hospice providers. The conference will address current hot topics in health care legislation, regulatory issues, technology, home care, private duty and hospice.
The conference will focus on key legislative priorities for 2012, including: secure the strategic role Congress intends for home care and hospice in addressing the nation’s acute, chronic and long-term care needs; ensure appropriate and adequate reimbursement for and access to hospice services; and protect and expand access to home and community-based services under Medicaid.
“Home care and hospice services provide significant benefits for patients, their families and taxpayers,” said Bradberry. “Our members are working closely with federal lawmakers to ensure future policy decisions protect access to quality and affordable home care and hospice services for Texans.”
The Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice Inc. is a statewide nonprofit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for ethical practices, quality and economic viability of licensed providers of home and community support services in Texas. For more information, visit www.tahch.org.