Stakeholders Urge Lawmakers to Protect Access to Cost-Effective Home Care & Hospice Services During National “Home Care and Hospice Month”
Industry Vital to Health and Economic Viability of Texans
AUSTIN – As elected officials at both the state and federal level make important decisions that will impact access to home care and hospice services for patients across Texas, members of the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice (TAHC&H) are actively meeting with state and federal elected officials to educate them on the benefits of the home care and hospice industry.
Stakeholders are urging lawmakers to reinstate appropriate funding for vital Medicare and Medicaid programs that support cost-effective home health, hospice and personal assistance services.
“The home is fast becoming the first choice for health care among elderly, disabled and medically frail Texans,” said Rachel Hammon, executive director of TAHC&H. “As Texas approaches the 83rd Legislative Session and federal lawmakers work to sort out end-of-year budget and health care legislation, our members are working closely with elected officials to ensure future policy decisions maintain access to quality and affordable home care and hospice services for Texans.”
Throughout the month of November, home care and hospice advocates across the nation are working to educate lawmakers and Texans on the benefits of home care and hospice to patients, taxpayers and the Texas economy as part of national “Home Care and Hospice Month.”
“Home care and hospice services are the most cost-effective methods of care for Medicare and Medicaid,” said Hammon. “The use of these services contributes to billions of dollars in taxpayer savings by preventing or reducing the use of more expensive emergency room, hospital and nursing home services.”
Enabling those who receive these services to remain in their homes rather than be forced into more expensive settings saves billions of dollars for taxpayers. In fact, the use of home health services was associated with a $2.81 billion reduction in post-hospital Medicare spending over a three-year period, according to a 2011 study by Avalere Health LLC.
Stakeholders argue that failure to maintain appropriate funding for home care services jeopardizes the quality, affordability and accessibility of these services for those who need them most. They are reminding lawmakers that basic community care services are already underfunded by 8 to 9 percent, as estimated by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
“We commend our state and federal leaders who are dedicated to maintaining access to quality, affordable home care and hospice services for Texans,” said Hammon. “We look forward to continuing to work with legislators, regulators and other stakeholders to ensure Texans and taxpayers can continue to benefit from these services.”
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.