National Association for Home Care & Hospice calls for cooperation between parties to solve pending crisis
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Barbara D. Woolley
Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2012) While the fiscal cliff looms ahead of us, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is encouraging Members of Congress to take action to find the right combination of tax increases and budget cuts to avert disaster.
We need cooperation between both parties it is essential, said Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC. It may be necessary to add new tax revenue and find a balance of cuts in all government programs in order prevent the nations credit rating from being lowered. However, home care has seen its share of cuts with the Medicare home health benefit already enduring $77 billion in cuts since 2009.
Home care is not only the right way to save billions in Medicare expenditures; it is what the nation’s seniors need to meet their increasing and complicated health care requirements. Five percent of people are responsible for 50 percent of healthcare costs. There is a paradigm shift towards home and community based care, with the home care industry expected to grow 1/3 over the next five years. Now is not the time to cut home health services but to expand the scope of home care. There is no greater value proposition in the health care system than home care, which helps save and extend lives as well as prevent and manage chronic disease while creating jobs and directly contributing to the long-term health of the economy.
Today, over 12 million of Americas seniors and disabled citizens depend on home care services to remain healthy, stable, and out of costly traditional settings. For decades, caring for the elderly, disabled and chronically ill at home has provided a dignified and highly-efficient method of treatment. Home-based care is also clinically effective, utilizing advanced technologies and helping to cost-effectively manage chronic diseases that account for 75 percent of our nations health care spending. 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 $1,932 per day for a typical hospital stay.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is calling on its 33,000 members across the nation to contact and meet with their elected officials in their home state or in Washington D.C. on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.