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Current and Planned Regulations Threaten Homecare Quality and Availability
Thousands of dedicated professionals provide cost-effective and consumer-preferred homecare services every day allowing millions of seniors and people with disabilities to share holidays with their families in the comfort of their homes. To learn more about homecare, please visit: www.aahomecare.org/athome.
Homecare provides tremendous value to more than eight million Americans who require some type of medical care in the home. It is a cost-effective alternative to institutional care, and home medical equipment can be provided and maintained for just dollars a day, which is why homecare is an important part of the solution to our nation's healthcare crisis.
In recent years, however, the homecare sector has been the target of a long series of deep and disproportionate cuts by Congress. These cuts affect the ability of homecare providers to furnish high quality equipment and service to the patients and families who rely on the benefits of homecare.
PLEASE STOP CUTS TO HOMECARE!
Five Facts You Should Know about Homecare:
1) Among the eight million Americans who depend on medical equipment and services at home are people with severe lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, spinal cord injuries, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.
2) In numerous surveys, Americans have expressed a strong preference for receiving medical care at home if possible.
3) Virtually every type of health care short of surgery can be performed in the home. If medically necessary, seniors and people with disabilities can receive oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, hospital beds, drug infusion therapy, hospice care, walkers, and other medical services, supplies, and equipment at home under Medicare.
4) A robust system of home medical providers who compete on the basis of quality and service allows hospitals to discharge patients on a timely basis to quality post-acute care at home, which reduces length of hospital stays and lowers spending in the healthcare system. The home is the most cost-effective setting for many types of medical care including long-term care. This is why the federal government encourages state Medicaid systems to rebalance their long-term care populations so a greater proportion of beneficiaries receive care at home rather than in a nursing home or other institutional setting. Home-based care should be a larger part of healthcare reform discussions for federal and state policymakers.
5) In the event of a catastrophic pandemic flu, home-based care will play a large role in treating flu victims who require care since the surge in patients will quickly overwhelm hospitals. The American Association for Homecare served on an expert panel that provided guidance for Home Health Care During an Influenza Pandemic: Issues and Resources which was produced with funding by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and in collaboration with the CDC.