OHIO home care and hospice nurses, aides and providers head to Nation’s Capitol to fight for the right of every American to be cared for in their home
WASHINGTON D.C. (March 27 & 28, 2012) – Midwest Care Alliance will join other members of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization on March 27 & 28, 2012, for the annual March on Washington. Representatives from Ohio will converge on Capitol Hill and execute their right to petition members of the Senate and House, with the goal to encourage Congress to protect and expand access to home care and hospice services for aged, infirm, disabled, and dying Americans.
The focus of congressional visits includes key legislative priorities for 2012-among which are: 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 Medicare home health services; ensure appropriate and adequate reimbursement for and access to hospice services; protect and expand access to home and community-based services under Medicaid; and protect access to home care and hospice services, including for care paid directly by individuals.
Jeff Lycan, MCA President/CEO states “Among the many highlights of the visits will be the opportunity to attend a Senate Breakfast and Briefing featuring some of the leading voices in Congress that have advocated for home care and hospice in recent years, including Senators Susan Collins (ME), Ben Cardin (MD), Tom Carper (DE), and Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Representatives Jim McGovern (MA) and Allyson Schwartz (PA)." Midwest Care Alliance and members will also meet with Ohio’s two Senators as well as many of its Representatives to bring attention to the importance of home care and hospice.
The annual march comes at a time when the Medicare home care benefit which was $17 billion in 2009 has been cut by $77 billion over the next ten years. As a result of these cuts, about 50 percent of all Medicare participating agencies will be under water in 2012 — that is, paid less than their costs by Medicare, even though home care and hospice is more cost effective, saving billions in Medicare expenditures. Currently, the average Medicare cost for a patient to receive home health care is $44 per day, compared to $559 per day in a typical nursing home and $1932 per day for a typical hospital stay.
“It continues to be challenging times for our industry,” says Jeff Lycan, President/CEO of Midwest Care Alliance. “We continue to be asked to do more with less and are expected to maintain quality and provide our full range of services. We stand at one of the most critical junctures we have ever faced and we must not stand alone.”
Midwest Care Alliance (MCA) is the premiere state association in Ohio for home care, hospice and palliative care providers. MCA supports its members in the advancement and delivery of quality services across the health care continuum by providing consultative, advocacy, resources and education. MCA envisions a community where integrated, patient-centered care is safe, effective and efficient. To learn more about Midwest Care Alliance, visit www.midwestcarealliance.org.
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