march 18th, 2002
by larry wheeler
gannett news service
washington-the good news for medicare beneficiaries: despite dramatic declines in the number of home health agencies nationwide, nurses and aides are still widely available to elderly patients who qualify to receive certain health care services at home.
the bad news: the government is preparing to cut home health payments 15 percent by oct. 1. industry officials and a number of lawmakers want the 15 percent reduction canceled, saying cuts have gone far enough.
since 1997, medicare home health spending has fallen, and 1 million fewer patients now receive those services. among elderly medicare beneficiaries who qualify for home care, the average number of visits received from nurses and aides has
the reversal was precipitated by strict new payment rules designed to curb home health spending that had skyrocketed during the 1990s. simultaneously, justice department and government auditors aggressively began pursuing fraud and abuse in the home health sector.
hundreds of agencies closed, but no evidence is conclusive that medicare patients have suffered.
despite dramatic declines in the number of home health agencies nationwide, nurses and aides are still widely available to elderly patients
that depends on what are of the country you live in. city homecare agencies are having a hard time obtaining cna staff----can get same pay at mc donalds or wallmart for less stress and responsibility. student nurses are working other jobs that pay more instead of being cna's while in nursing school has been my experience over the past 6 -7 years in philadelphia region. yet alone people who pass criminal background check, attend orientation or cna training are given an assignment and never show up for work...1 in 15 occurance in my experience. karen
oramar, I wish they would do that study. I think you are right! After I D/C'd many of my HHC patients, I followed what happened to them, although it was not scientific, my patients were admitted to the hospital more frequently~~ a few of them within 2 weeks of my D/Cing them. They no longer qualified for MCA HH visits so I had no choice. The ones I didn't call and keep track of I noticed popping up in the obits. So sad. I knew I was helping them stay home and at their optimal health thus avoiding hospitalization or worse!
There are so many cuts right now in fed and state budgets that decrease funding for health care it is outragious! I write to the senators and governers and it all seems to fall on deaf ears. The state reps say they have no choice due to federal cuts. The fed reps say they don't have the money due to thier budgets and that it is worse due to the war on terrorism. So where does all that money go? Don't get me started. I left HHC due to corp take overs, Hillarys cut backs, PPS and HMO's, I knew it was only the beginning of a failing system for HHC and I am glad that I did leave especially now that I know it is worse than ever.
Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02