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!