Ohio Governor’s Budget Would Shift Home-Health Care to Agencies, Away from Independent Providers
Article in The Republic looks at the how home health may be affected by the Governor’s proposal
February 12, 2015 12:35 PM
Certain Ohioans with disabilities or chronic conditions who get care at home through Medicaid could see a change in who helps them bathe, get dressed and tend to their basic needs. A proposal in Republican Gov. John Kasich's two-year state budget would direct the state to accept billings for such Medicaid services from certified home-health care agencies, not independent health aides, nurses or other providers.
Currently, about 16,000 individuals in Ohio receive help from more than 13,000 independent workers who would have to make other arrangements, either through a home health agency or by applying to become the providers' employer.
According to the article in The Republic:
“The transition would happen over four years, if approved by state lawmakers. The move comes as the Kasich administration seeks to reduce Medicaid fraud and improve care by using home-health agencies, which officials say have more oversight.
Investigations by a unit in the state's attorney general's office led to the criminal convictions of 479 home health care providers between 2010 and 2014, with independent providers accounting for 306, or 64 percent, of those convictions…
Still, the process and paperwork could be tricky for some recipients to navigate. Those with disabilities have enough challenges in their days, [one beneficiary] said. "We shouldn't have to ask for special treatment just to have a choice in who gets us out of bed."
Ohio would be joining many other states and the federal Medicare program by doing business with agencies only, the administration said.
Officials also emphasize that the change would not be immediate.
Starting in July 2016, Ohio Medicaid would not take claims from any new independent providers. By July 2019, the state would only accept billings submitted through agencies. Independent workers could to seek employment through an agency, though wages are often lower.”