Virginia Association of Home Care Advocacy Day

AT Home Care traveled to Washington DC with a bus load of VAHC members to lobby for Home Health Care.  The day began at the crack of dawn, boarding a bus with home care administrators and nurses from all over the state of Virginia.  The group split up to meet with 12 different legislative aides and Senators about restoring the home health coverage reimbursement rate that is proposed to be cut 2.75 percent in the current President’s 2010 budget.  Over the next five years these cuts will reduce outlays for home health by $7.59 billion unless Congress blocks them.   Equipped with pamphlets and charts, we addressed the past cuts and projected losses for home care agencies should Obama’s budget go through as penned.

In an effort to draw attention to the importance of Home Health Care as part of Medicare services, a letter was written by the National Association of Home Care, advocating against further reductions in home health care payments in Medicare.  It has been signed by several prominent legislators, and was presented at our meetings in hopes that the Representative or Senator would add their name to the letter. The letter supports payment adjustments for inflation updates and opposes further home health payment cuts.   We just got word, today, that Senator Mark Warner signed on to the letter, thereby adding more credibility and momentum to the support of home health care as part of Medicare!

New Technology Improves Home Health Care

As Home Health Care becomes a more important part of the complete medical care of a patient, the plan of care often involves more clinicians. The amount of communication between the attending physician, therapist and home care nurse often continues for a longer period of time. In order to deliver seamless homecare, the transmission of doctor’s orders needs to be faster and efficient. AT Home Care has adopted a new technique of scanning doctors’ orders into a computer so they are more quickly transmitted to the home care nurse responsible for the homebound patient.  The physician is able to respond with a push of a button to submit his electronic signature rather than sign and fax something to an outlying office when he gets around to his paper work.  The home care nurse is able to get a quick turnaround on any changes in the plan of care or medications.  By spending less time on paper work, more time can be devoted to caring for the patient…outstanding home care is what AT Home Care is all about!