Category: Capitol Report Newsletter

April 2020 Capitol Report: COVID-19 “Essential Personnel” Responsibilities Demand “Essential Personnel” Supports

HCA’s April 2020 edition of the Capitol Report for the New York State Legislature includes several news features and photos from HCA members fighting COVID-19 and supporting patients in the community.

Please make sure your legislative representatives have seen this month’s edition, especially if your agency is featured. In the April 2020 edition, we worked to show how providers are: deploying nurses to test for COVID-19, treating COVID-19 patients at home, volunteering to provide a solution for personal protective equipment supply chain and distribution problems, and deploying telehealth.

Our main takeaway message: home care has “essential personnel” responsibilities and it needs “essential personnel” supports.

March 2020 Capitol Report Spotlights Home Care and COVID-19, Plus MRT II Proposals

The March 2020 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report has several features about home care’s response and needs serving patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home care is keeping many thousands of patients “from needing to go to the hospital or nursing home. They do so at quieter times or, as now, amid the din of a global health emergency like COVID-19 that is placing enormous new stresses on the health care system.”

In short, “home care needs priority access to supplies, regulatory relief and financial assistance in its work at the front lines.”

Another article, “COVID-19 Impact on Home Care by the Numbers,” quantifies those needs, drawing from an HCA survey which netted responses from over 300 providers.

We also share some COVID-19 headlines about home care’s role and requests from City and State News, Home Health Care News, Crain’s Health Pulse, and a feature about UR Medicine Home Care’s Meals on Wheels program on WHAM13, the Rochester ABC affiliate.

Reporting on the state budget, we note the “far-reaching consequences” of Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) recommendations that “are speeded for state budget adoption without vetting, without transparency, at a time when providers are asked to take on overwhelming roles in the crushing global health crisis.”

The MRT’s swift approval of recommendations impacting long term care prompted a statement to the media from HCA President Al Cardillo, covered by the New York Daily News and Politico New York.

ICYMI: Feb. Capitol Report on MRT, Mental Health Bill, Sepsis Study, VNSNY’s Singing Nurse, and UR Medicine Therapist

In case you missed it (ICYMI), the February 2020 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report newsletter (circulated to the State Legislature on Wednesday) highlights HCA’s State Advocacy Day and our proposals to the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT). We also note the Senate’s passage of HCA-developed legislation to support coordination of home care and mental health services.

The TODAY Show recently profiled VNSNY hospice nurse Kathleen Sarnes, whose vocal gift is providing calm and comfort to hospice patients, plus we share a similarly powerful look at the therapy care provided by UR Medicine Home Care’s Chris Joyce to help patients like Nick Wright recover after a fall. We thank VNSNY and UR Medicine for proactively garnering and producing these important media representations of home care and hospice.

Also, HCA President Al Cardillo recently spoke to anchor Benita Zahn of Capital Region NBC affiliate WNYT about a new study, profiled in the February Capitol Report, showing the immense public health toll of sepsis as well as the opportunity area for home care to intervene using protocols like HCA’s Stop Sepsis at Home initiative.

Jan. 2020 Capitol Report Outlines Budget Proposals, Bills on the Move, Wound Care, and Workforce in the Adirondacks

The January 2020 edition of HCA’s Capitol Report for state officials responds to the Governor’s budget proposals, including his charge given to a second iteration of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) for devising $2.5 billion in savings – a venue where HCA’s “cost offsets and reforms merit a voice.”

In the budget article, HCA reasserts for legislative offices our proposals that would control utilization, allow for more flexible management of service options, and maximize coverage by other, non-Medicaid, payors which have dual responsibility.

We also highlight three HCA bills on the move in the Senate which embrace home care capabilities to provide a coordinated plan of care in conjunction with mental health providers, incorporate home care in policies and programs in public health, and involve home care in the state’s comprehensive care eating disorder program.

In addition, our monthly innovations feature spotlights UR Medicine Home Care’s in-home wound care program, and we draw attention to a recent news report on the serious home care workforce and access issues plaguing the Adirondacks, as in many regions of the state.

Archives of the Capitol Report are here.

Dec. Capitol Report: Greetings from Dr. Zucker, HCA’s Advocacy Day, Telehealth and Aide Training Innovations

The December edition of HCA’s Capitol Report marks one year of our monthly communication to state officials.

This month’s edition shares recent remarks from State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., who greeted home care and hospice providers and staff, recognizing their vital role.

We also direct attention to HCA’s upcoming February 5 state Advocacy Day, including what legislative offices can expect in preparation.

As part of our monthly innovations feature, we highlight the work of Essex County Department of Health’s home care unit, which has helped reduce admissions by as much as 60 percent using telehealth and expeditious case management.

Lastly, we share a news report from the USA Today network of affiliates featuring the organizational partnerships being forged by HCA home care provider members to deliver a more robust level of home health aide training and peer mentoring to address turnover rates and the need for workforce readiness. The in-depth article provides a window into how the training programs work, like those offered at NYC-based Selhelp Community Services, to teach transferring and other techniques in a way that uniquely connects with trainees.

November Capitol Report Features HCA Budget Measures, Home Care Month, Sepsis, Disparities

The November edition of HCA’s monthly Capitol Report for the state Legislature features some of HCA’s budget reform and relief proposals that we’ve advanced as a first-resort cost offset to address the state’s multi-billion-dollar Medicaid budget overruns.

The report, circulated to State Legislative and Executive staff on November 26, also shares some of the work done by HCA and providers to recognize National Home Care and Hospice month, plus some resources for legislative staff who were unable to attend the Senate and Assembly sponsored legislative seminar, led by HCA, on the sepsis medical emergency.

We also write about a new study which finds racial disparities in the discharge process to home care settings versus rehabilitation facilities for joint replacement care. Continue reading “November Capitol Report Features HCA Budget Measures, Home Care Month, Sepsis, Disparities”