Category: Press Releases

Home Care & Hospice Awards Go to Ten Clinicians, Caregivers, Quality Leaders, Advocates and Physicians across NYS and Nationally

HCA to present awards at 40th Annual Conference on 5/10; awardees are from NYC, Rochester, Capital Region and Washington, D.C.

At its 40th Anniversary Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY on May 10, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) is presenting its 2018 annual awards to ten exceptional home care and hospice clinicians, caregivers, leaders in quality innovation, advocates, and physicians at the state and national levels.

The awardees are listed below. For a full summary of each award winner’s accomplishments, please see our conference website at http://hcaannualconference.com/2018-award-winners/.

HCA’s two highest honors are presented to a national leader on the home care stage, as well as one of New York State’s most thoughtful and expert regulatory policymakers.

HCA’s Advocacy Award recipient is Bill Dombi, President and longtime policy leader at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). “Bill Dombi has influenced every significant change in the Medicare home health benefit, reimbursement, regulations and the legal frameworks governing home care over the last 30 years,” said HCA President Joanne Cunningham. “He truly is the leading home care and hospice advocate for our state, for every state, and for the country.”

HCA’s highest honor is the Ruth F. Wilson Award, named for an early organizational leader in New York’s home care system. It is being presented to Rebecca Fuller Gray, Director of the New York State Department of Health’s Division of Home and Community Based Services. “Becky Gray is not only an exceptional leader committed to doing what’s right for home care patients, but she also approaches every issue and challenge with the instincts and problem-solving acumen of a nurse, serving as a cornerstone of home care and hospice policymaking for nearly 15 years.”

Overall, HCA’s 2018 awards are among the most diverse yet, in terms of the ways that each luminary has touched the world of home care and hospice

“Our Caring Award winners represent the very best in compassionate care to patients with debilitating illnesses, rehabilitation needs and during end-of-life care,” Ms. Cunningham said. “We are also pleased to honor a home care agency leader who has invested in a unique facility to reward his workforce.”

Ms. Cunningham added: “We are also thrilled this year to recognize the specialized work of nurses who are making a difference through home-based primary care and in spearheading New York City’s first – and only – dedicated program to support the home care needs of patients recovering from gender reassignment surgery.”

For the first time, HCA is also recognizing physician champions in home care.

“Doctors play a vital role in the authorization of home care services, from the initiation of physician orders to the documentation of medical necessity and collaboration with home care providers,” Ms. Cunningham said. “Doctors Kevin Costello and John McIntyre, however, are true home care champions, very actively supporting patients at home during the often fragmented discharge-planning process from the hospital, helping home care organizations reimagine their case-conferencing of at-risk patients, raising the visibility of home care among their peer physicians, and so much more.”

Awardees

Caring Awards are being presented to:

  • Vicky Gentile, Home Health Aide at New York City-based Selfhelp Community Services
  • Amy Marshall-Uber, Home Health Aide at Eddy Licensed Home Care Agency, which is part of St. Peter’s Health Partners and serves New York’s Capital Region
  • Julio Vega, Doctor of Physical Therapy at HCR Home Care, based in Rochester, New York
  • Josh Klein, CEO of New York City-based Royal Care

‘Triple-Aim’ Quality and Innovation Awards are presented to:

  • Kim Gendron, Family Nurse Practitioner at St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates/Eddy VNA Home Based Primary Care, which serves New York’s Capital Region
  • Shannon Whittington, Interdisciplinary Care Team Manager and Director of the Gender Affirmation Program at New York City-based Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Physician Champion Awards are being presented to:

  • Kevin Costello, MD, Albany Medical Center Internal Medicine, Albany, New York
  • John “Jack” McIntyre, MD, Medical Director, HCR Home Care, based in Rochester, New York

Advocacy Award is presented to:

  • William Dombi, President and CEO of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), based in Washington, DC

Ruth F. Wilson Award is presented to:

  • Rebecca Fuller Gray, Director of the Division of Home and Community Based Services, New York State Department of Health (DOH), based in Alban

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The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA), the state’s premier home care association, represents more than 400 providers, individuals, and associate members who collectively serve thousands of New Yorkers.

Contact:

Roger Noyes

Home Care Association of New York State

rnoyes@hcanys.org

(518) 810-0665 (office); (518) 275-6961 (cell)

HCA Testifies at Health State Budget Hearing on Behalf of Home Care, Hospice and MLTC 

Underscores adverse impact of proposed cuts, eligibility changes, structural limits and urges support for process improvements, home care licensure standards, workforce and infrastructure

ALBANY — HCA President Joanne Cunningham testified today before a joint legislative panel on the Medicaid and health areas of the state budget. Her testimony, on behalf of HCA’s home care, hospice and Managed Long Term Care providers and plans, is available at https://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/201819HCAStateBudgetTestimonyUpdatedFeb132018.pdf.

Of primary concern in this Executive Budget are the proposed cuts and program changes that impact MLTCs and home care, Ms. Cunningham said.

“Virtually the entire long term care Medicaid and Medicare patient population in New York State has been moved under the care of MLTCs and their providers. The Administration has removed most other options,” Ms. Cunningham said. Continue reading “HCA Testifies at Health State Budget Hearing on Behalf of Home Care, Hospice and MLTC “

HCA Issues State Legislative Proposals, Finance Report on the Home Care, Hospice and Managed Long Term Care Sectors

ALBANY — Leading up to its state advocacy day on Tuesday, February 6, the Home Care Association of New York (HCA) has issued its budget and legislative proposals for home care, hospice and Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans.

Accompanying these proposals is a 2018 report on the finance and program trends within the home care, hospice and MLTC sectors. This report is based on a statistical analysis of state-required financial documents, a survey of HCA’s membership, and other data sets. It provides aggregate data on financial margins, accounts-receivable balances, direct-care staffing vacancies and turnover rates, and other important findings within New York’s home care, hospice and MLTC sectors.

“The proposed state budget contains funding cuts, limits on who can access the home care system and other constraints that would further squeeze a vital but already financially stressed system, as shown in our reports and addressed by our proposals,” said HCA President Joanne Cunningham.

She added: “HCA supports the Governor’s funding for direct-care workers in home and hospice care, but providers desperately need a more efficient, workable and transparent process for disseminating adequate funds to health plans and then to providers. This is a fix that is overdue and needed now.”

“The home care system also needs urgent support to recruit and train home care staff to meet the burgeoning need for care, especially given state and federal reforms that are incentivizing a shift in care to the home,” Cunningham said. “HCA’s legislative proposals aim for a robust plan to increase and support the home care workforce.”

She added: “New York’s home care providers are also leading the way in several public health areas and we ask for the state to support this role – specifically in areas of great concern like sepsis, asthma and opioid addiction management, and health disparities. Home care providers can help bend the cost curve and improve quality in each of these public health challenges.”

“HCA’s legislative proposals also seek to sustain New York’s dedication to high standards of care provided in the home,” she said. “We urge the state to continue to enforce the laws and rules that govern who delivers this care and how it is provided. Home care providers are clinical experts in care delivery in the home and the scofflaws functioning without licensure need to be stopped.”

Both reports are linked below.

HCA’s 2018 Budget and Legislative Action Proposals 

Home Care, Hospice and Managed Long Term Care Financial and Program Trends 2018

 

Gov. Cuomo Signs Lanza-Cusick Bill Supporting Home Care & Hospice Role in Reaching Vulnerable Patients during Emergencies

ALBANY — The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) commends New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing a bill, S.5016-A/A.6549-A, which assures home care and hospice provider input into local emergency planning, including essential-personnel access for home care and hospice staff to reach vulnerable patients when disasters strike.

HCA also applauds the bill’s legislative sponsors, Assemblyman Michael Cusick and Senator Andrew Lanza, for their tireless efforts to develop and frame this legislation for unanimous passage in both houses of the Legislature and for support from the Governor. Both legislators saw first-hand the enormous need for coordinated response in their Staten Island districts when Superstorm Sandy devastated the region. 

For further background on the bill, please read HCA’s Memorandum of support here

“From Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and countless major snow emergencies across New York, we’ve seen home care and hospice providers ready to serve as a vital resource to assist local emergency managers in reaching vulnerable patients who may be alone or without power at home,” said HCA President Joanne Cunningham. “These efforts could be substantially enhanced with a greater voice for home care and hospice in the emergency management planning process, including for addressing ‘essential personnel’ status, as this bill does. Home care and hospice providers applaud Assemblyman Cusick and Senator Lanza for their staunch support of this important bill, and for working vigorously with the Governor’s office to get it signed into law.”

Continue reading “Gov. Cuomo Signs Lanza-Cusick Bill Supporting Home Care & Hospice Role in Reaching Vulnerable Patients during Emergencies”

HCA Awarded NYSHealth Grant for Sepsis Screening in Community Settings 

ALBANY — Building on its work to address the risk of sepsis-related death, injury and health care cost drivers, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) has been awarded a prestigious grant from the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) for training and implementation of HCA’s first-in-the-nation sepsis-intervention protocols in home care provider settings across New York State.

Sepsis—a life-threatening, often fatal bodily response—occurs when the body’s immune system turns on the body itself instead of fighting off infection. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 72% of people who contract sepsis had recently been seen by practitioners, potentially signaling a missed opportunity for recognition and timely treatment and intervention. Estimates suggest that 80% to 90% of sepsis cases occur in the community or in an individual’s home, not just in hospitals where most people are familiar with sepsis occurrence. In New York State, the number of sepsis-identified cases rose 68% from 2005 to 2011. Continue reading “HCA Awarded NYSHealth Grant for Sepsis Screening in Community Settings “

HCA, Member Providers Testify at NY Assembly Hearing on Home Care Workforce Issues

ALBANY — Today the state Assembly held a public hearing on home care workforce issues.

This hearing follows an earlier one, held last week (on February 22) in New York City. HCA sent the following statement in response to the February 22 hearing: https://hca-nys.org/policy-positions/hca-statement-state-assembly-hearing-on-home-care-workforce-issues.

Today’s HCA testimony in Albany was presented by HCA Executive Vice President Al Cardillo. The testimony can be downloaded from our website at: https://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Testimony-of-Home-Care-Association-of-NYS_Homecare-Workforce-Hearing-2-27-2017.pdf.

“The public health system has been reconfigured to require and rely on ready access to timely, capable and person-centered home care,” Mr. Cardillo said. “Current governmental policies and reforms are rapidly and substantially deepening this reliance.” Continue reading “HCA, Member Providers Testify at NY Assembly Hearing on Home Care Workforce Issues”

HCA Statement: State Assembly Hearing on Home Care Workforce Issues

Media urged to attend a second Assembly hearing on Monday in Albany (details are below)

HCA greatly appreciates the state Assembly’s focus on home care workforce issues during a hearing today in New York City and another hearing scheduled on Monday in Albany.

Home care workforce recruitment, retention and staffing shortages have long been a concern for providers, consumers, and aging and disabled New Yorkers.

Home care is a demanding occupation that requires a unique set of skills and aptitudes. A comprehensive set of solutions is therefore needed to support this vital workforce, along with adequate reimbursement from the state for labor and non-labor service costs at a time when home care providers and Managed Long Term Care plans alike are experiencing operating losses statewide.

Between 2010 and 2014, home care employment rose 43% in New York City. As of 2015, home health aides in New York City number 117,760, along with 71,390 personal care aides and 70,990 registered nurses in home care. Nevertheless, shortages and high turnover rates persist, causing enormous administrative cost and resource pressures for training and orientation in home care, not to mention disruption in the continuity of care. Continue reading “HCA Statement: State Assembly Hearing on Home Care Workforce Issues”

HCA Issues Home Care-Managed Care Financial Findings, State Budget Proposals

For immediate release: February 14, 2017

HCA Issues Home Care-Managed Care Financial Findings, State Budget Proposals

ALBANY — The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) has issued its annual financial condition report on New York’s home care and managed care systems, along with a set of vital proposals for consideration in the 2017-18 state budget. These budget proposals cover the areas of home care and managed care Medicaid payment, regulations, workforce issues, and infrastructure investment.

The financial condition report is available here and the state advocacy agenda is here. They will be featured in HCA testimony on Thursday, February 16, before a joint legislative hearing on the health and Medicaid portions of the proposed budget. Continue reading “HCA Issues Home Care-Managed Care Financial Findings, State Budget Proposals”

Alert Home Health Aide Rescues Critically Ill Palatine Bridge Woman

Home care staff provide vital supports for the elderly, as well as “eyes and ears” for emergency situations

(October 26, Albany, NY) Joanne Hogan, a home health aide from Capital Region-based Visiting Nurses Home Care, is being celebrated by her agency and peers after she obtained lifesaving emergency medical care for an elderly woman at a Palatine Bridge apartment complex. According to EMTs at the scene, Joanne’s quick action undoubtedly saved the woman’s life. Her story exemplifies the compassionate, vital, and sometimes even heroic services of home care staff who are recognized during National Home Care Month in November.  Continue reading “Alert Home Health Aide Rescues Critically Ill Palatine Bridge Woman”

Local Home Health Provider Schofield Care Trains, Equips Community to Tackle Opioid Epidemic

Schofield Care provides free training for staff and public on the use of lifesaving emergency naloxone spray

As the opioid crisis grips communities in Western New York and throughout the nation, a local provider of home care, nursing and residential care services has taken on a major community outreach effort to educate, train and equip its direct-care staff – as well as the public – on use of lifesaving Narcan spray kits that can save lives. 

Narcan is an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. It knocks the opiate receptors in the brain, and it can be safely administered by a layperson with minimal training: Narcan does not have an effect on a person who has not taken opioids. If a drug overdose is suspected, protocols call for administering Narcan and immediately contacting emergency medical services.

“Our home care agency is proud to partner with Erie County to help deliver opioid education and Narcan training to individuals in our community,” said Schofield RN Colleen Osborn, the organization’s Director of Home Care Operations. “We offer free-of-charge programs, open to the public, and people who attend leave with samples of Narcan to help our community combat the ever-growing opioid addiction crisis.” Continue reading “Local Home Health Provider Schofield Care Trains, Equips Community to Tackle Opioid Epidemic”

As CDC Raises Alarms on Deadly Sepsis Crisis, Home Care Takes Action with New Screening Tool, Partnerships

CDC’s alarms about sepsis crisis in the community join recent high-profile sepsis-related celebrity deaths (including Mohammad Ali and Patty Duke), a rising threat, and Sepsis Awareness Month in September

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made sepsis-prevention a major focus in recent news cycles, and home care providers in New York State have been working to meet this deadly health care crisis head-on, using a first-in-the-nation, community-based screening tool piloted by the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) in partnership with clinicians and quality improvement experts from IPRO and Sepsis Alliance, who have long raised the issue of health care’s sepsis crisis.

As the CDC reported in a major media outreach campaign in late August, 72% of people who contract sepsis – an extremely life-threatening, often-fatal bodily response to infection – got the illness even though they had recently been seen by practitioners, signaling a missed opportunity for urgent treatment and intervention.

Meanwhile, estimates suggest that as much as 80% of sepsis cases occur in the community or in an individual’s home, not just in hospitals where most people are familiar with sepsis occurrence. In New York State, the number of sepsis cases rose 68% from 2005 to 2011. Sepsis is also the single most expensive condition nationwide and the number-one driver of hospital readmissions in New York State. (See the end of this press release for more sepsis facts and resource links.) Continue reading “As CDC Raises Alarms on Deadly Sepsis Crisis, Home Care Takes Action with New Screening Tool, Partnerships”

Home Care Campaign Delivers Voter Information, Ballot Applications to Thousands of Patients So They Can Vote From Home

Bring The Vote Home-New York is part of nationwide effort to help patients vote if they have a chronic illness or disability that makes it difficult to get to the polls on Election Day

The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) has embarked on a new home care voter outreach campaign called Bring The Vote Home-NY, delivering thousands of voter materials to home care agencies so these agencies can assist their patients with voting from home.

HCA has so far delivered over 10,000 packets to participating home care agencies throughout New York State, with many other home care agencies preparing their own materials to deliver to patients.

Home care patients include the chronically ill, frail-elderly, and persons with disabilities. Many of these individuals are homebound, or their illness makes it difficult to travel to the polls on Election Day. Continue reading “Home Care Campaign Delivers Voter Information, Ballot Applications to Thousands of Patients So They Can Vote From Home”

Women Healthcare Leaders Invited to Inaugural ‘Women in Healthcare Leadership Summit’ on Sept. 28-29 in Saratoga Springs

Media: Please include on calendar listings, event blurbs, or consider other advance press coverage

For Immediate Release: July 25, 2016

Contact: Roger Noyes (518) 275-6961 (cell); (518) 810-0665 (office)

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Top-tier, nationally recognized women thought-leaders, communications experts, researchers, authors and popular-media voices will share their wisdom and skills as part of the inaugural Women in Healthcare Leadership Summit on September 28 and 29 in Saratoga Springs.

The summit is sponsored by the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) – but this conference is not just for home health representatives. It offers universal skills and insights to empower women executives in all healthcare subsectors: business and finance; lobbying; government policymaking; strategy consulting; law; and other areas where women leaders aspire to enhance their talents, skills and leadership potential within healthcare. To register, download a brochure, learn more about the summit or become a sponsor at the summit, please visit https://hca-nys.org/general-news/hcas-first-ever-women-in-healthcare-leadership-summit-sept-28-29-in-saratoga. Continue reading “Women Healthcare Leaders Invited to Inaugural ‘Women in Healthcare Leadership Summit’ on Sept. 28-29 in Saratoga Springs”

NY, PA Home Care Associations and State Colleagues Gather in D.C. Targeting Medicare Home Health Cuts, Onerous Mandates

Gathering is part of the first-ever state home care association-led Public Policy Summit and Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on July 12-13

For immediate release: July 12, 2016

Contact:

HCA Communications Director Roger Noyes: (518) 275-6961 (cell); (518) 810-0665 (office)

PHA Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Haggerty: (570) 510-5731 (cell); (717) 975-9448, ext. 22 (office) 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – State home care associations from around the nation, including New York and Pennsylvania, are converging on Washington, D.C. this week (July 12 and 13) for the first-ever Public Policy Summit and Capitol Hill Advocacy Day.

The program is sponsored by the Council of State Home Care Associations. It includes policy discussions, presentations from federal bureaus on regulatory and payment issues, insights from D.C. political insiders, and advocacy visits with lawmakers.

The home care associations representing New York State and Pennsylvania are among the leading participants. Executives from the associations have outlined a robust federal advocacy agenda for the Council, its member associations, and individual home care agencies attending.

“July is a perfect time for state home care associations and their members to get the attention of lawmakers and federal officials on core payment and regulatory issues,” said Vicki Hoak, Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) and chair of the Council of State Home Care Associations, which collectively includes 37 constituent state associations representing home health care providers in their regions. “This first-ever summit brings hundreds of provider representatives to Washington, along with the leadership of their state home care associations, for a collective voice and problem-solving.” Continue reading “NY, PA Home Care Associations and State Colleagues Gather in D.C. Targeting Medicare Home Health Cuts, Onerous Mandates”

Statement from Coalition of Healthcare Providers: Any Minimum Wage Increase Must Be Fully Funded 

For immediate release: March 21, 2016

A Statement from HCA, LeadingAge NY, the Healthcare Association of New York State and the New York State Health Facilities Association

Statement from Coalition of Healthcare Providers: Any Minimum Wage Increase Must Be Fully Funded 

The proposed minimum wage hike must not and cannot reasonably move forward without funding to fully offset its costs.

The minimum wage should only be allowed to rise to a level fully matched by immediate funding for the cost impact on providers, as calculated by our healthcare coalition in a rigorous methodology shared extensively with the State Legislature and Governor’s office.

Additionally, the state must provide full funding for each incremental increase of the minimum wage. Continue reading “Statement from Coalition of Healthcare Providers: Any Minimum Wage Increase Must Be Fully Funded “

Statement on the Assembly and Senate One-House Budget Bills

NEWS FROM THE HOME CARE ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE (HCA)
For immediate Release: March 14, 2016
Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)
Download official release at: https://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/PROneHouseBudgets031416.pdf

Statement from Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) President Joanne Cunningham on the Assembly and Senate One-House Budget Bills

While we await the availability of each house’s budget resolutions, thus far we see elements in the Assembly and Senate budget bills that are a step in the right direction, and we thank the Legislature for their ear and support. However, given the mammoth issues at stake in this budget, there remain a lot of moving pieces that need to fall into place for a full picture of home care’s status.

The Senate bill opposes the Governor’s minimum wage proposal. Though negotiations are ongoing, we appreciate the Senate’s recognition of the wage impact on home care and other sectors, and we urge its continued recognition of this impact in the next stages of negotiations. Continue reading “Statement on the Assembly and Senate One-House Budget Bills”

Get the Facts: Minimum Wage Hike and its $2.19 Billion Impact for Home Care

For immediate Release: March 1, 2016

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)

ALBANY – If it remains unfunded, the Governor’s $15 minimum wage proposal will be catastrophic for home care providers whose reimbursement is provided substantially by Medicaid and Medicare for elderly individuals and families already struggling to afford services.

Medicaid is capped. Home care cuts have been worsened by new cost increases and little to no support, accordingly. Now, home care faces another multi-billion-dollar unfunded wage mandate within these confines. Continue reading “Get the Facts: Minimum Wage Hike and its $2.19 Billion Impact for Home Care”

Home Care and Hospital Associations Applaud Senator Hannon’s ‘Hospital-Home Care-Physician Collaboration Program’ in State Budget

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2015

Contact:
Roger Noyes (HCA) (518) 810-0665
Stacy Connors (IHA) (518) 348-7443

ALBANY, NY – To promote health care system integration, State Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau) has advanced an important new program in this year’s state budget that supports home health care providers, hospitals and physicians as they work together on collaborative models.

The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) and the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance (IHA) – which represent home care providers statewide and hospitals and health systems in the upstate region, respectively – applaud the Senator for his sponsorship of this vital initiative and look forward to continuing to work with the Senator on program implementation post-budget.

This initiative was previously introduced as standalone legislation (S.1110) and later adopted as a new program in the state budget, complementing related state health care policies. It specifically creates and devotes a statute within the Public Health Law to support “Hospital-Home Care-Physician Collaboration” programs. Such collaboratives could also include long term care facilities, behavioral health, supportive housing and other interdisciplinary providers.

“Collaboration among health care providers is essential to good care,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “For patients who require care at home, collaboration must include the home health care providers as this program does.” Continue reading “Home Care and Hospital Associations Applaud Senator Hannon’s ‘Hospital-Home Care-Physician Collaboration Program’ in State Budget”

SGR Fix Must Also Repair Damaging Face-to-Face Mandate Plaguing Home Care Providers and Physicians Alike

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2015

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

Statement by HCA President Joanne Cunningham: SGR Fix Must Also Repair Damaging Face-to-Face Mandate Plaguing Home Care Providers and Physicians Alike

The SGR bill now being negotiated in Congress rightly fixes the chronic issue of physician underpayment. Unfortunately, it appears that the measure, at present, declines to address another longstanding concern that has plagued the home care industry, complicated its relationship with physicians, and left access to care hanging in the balance.

The history of the physician ‘face-to-face’ rule for Medicare home health is a contorted one. While HCA supports the rule’s intent in a broad sense – to better involve physicians in the planning and oversight of home care services – both Congress and the home care industry agree that the execution of this rule by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been confusing, administratively duplicative, costly, an undue burden on access to care, and well outside the statutory expectations of the Affordable Care Act, as 75 Members of Congress so stated in a letter to CMS in 2013. Continue reading “SGR Fix Must Also Repair Damaging Face-to-Face Mandate Plaguing Home Care Providers and Physicians Alike”

Lourdes At Home Therapy Team Wins Statewide ‘Home Care Proud’ Contest for National Home Care Month

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2015

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) has awarded Binghamton-based Lourdes At Home as the winner of HCA’s “Home Care Proud” Contest in recognition of National Home Care Month.

In November, for National Home Care Month, HCA launched a contest asking home care providers to tell us what makes them “Home Care Proud.” Lourdes at Home, who submitted the winning entry for HCA’s contest, provides in-home nursing, therapy, home health aide, social work and other services to keep patients in Broome County healthy at home, where patients want to be, and to help patients avoid hospitalizations, ER visits, or premature nursing-home admission. Continue reading “Lourdes At Home Therapy Team Wins Statewide ‘Home Care Proud’ Contest for National Home Care Month”

Feds Issue Biggest Medicare Home Health Service Cuts in Decades, Beginning January 1

For Immediate Release: December 9, 2013

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

ALBANY — On January 1, Medicare home health services face the biggest payment changes since the Budget Control Act of 1997, which caused home health agencies to shoulder enormous losses and led to widespread program closures.

Newly finalized payment changes for 2014 risk a repeat of history if federal policymakers do not act now to delay $800 million in Medicare home health cuts set to go into effect nationally over the next four years.

Continue reading “Feds Issue Biggest Medicare Home Health Service Cuts in Decades, Beginning January 1”

HCA Seeks Passage of Bills Supporting Home Care’s Role in Medicaid Redesign

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2013

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

ALBANY — As the 2013 state legislative session winds to a close, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) urges the Senate and Assembly to adopt vital measures that support the state’s Medicaid Redesign efforts for home care. These bills would specifically offer regulatory relief/flexibility, program sustainability, and clarity in the roles of home care providers and Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans as they work jointly to serve patients.

Continue reading “HCA Seeks Passage of Bills Supporting Home Care’s Role in Medicaid Redesign”

In Testimony at Budget Hearing Today, HCA Urges Home Care Regulatory Relief, Transition Support, Fiscal Stability

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2013

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

ALBANY — Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) President Joanne Cunningham today presented testimony before the Joint Legislative Hearing on Medicaid and the Budget where she focused on the urgent need for home care regulatory relief, transition support, and a stable fiscal environment in this year’s budget and legislative session.

Continue reading “In Testimony at Budget Hearing Today, HCA Urges Home Care Regulatory Relief, Transition Support, Fiscal Stability”

Home Care Community Issues Plan Calling for Policies to Better Assure Success of State’s Two-Year Medicaid Redesign Project

For immediate Release: January 28, 2013

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

ALBANY — During its 2013 State Advocacy Day today, the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) is issuing a Three-Point Plan to Support Home Care and Ensure Success of State Redesign Efforts. The plan urges action on a series of proposals designed so that New York’s home care system can be a viable source of support for major ongoing state Medicaid redesign efforts. The plan calls for:

  • Home care transition support so that providers can effectively and efficiently contract with managed care plans, as the state’s Medicaid redesign policies intend.

Continue reading “Home Care Community Issues Plan Calling for Policies to Better Assure Success of State’s Two-Year Medicaid Redesign Project”

HCA Report: Cuts Plunge NY Home Care Agencies Further in the Red

For immediate Release: January 21, 2013

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

ALBANY — The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) today released its 2013 Report on the Fiscal Health of Home Care in New York State which shows that state Medicaid cuts and rising costs have driven home care agencies deeper into the red in 2011, the most recent year of data available.

Alarmingly, while the median operating losses of home care agencies worsened at a steady rate from 2009 to 2010, these losses took a severe turn in 2011 — coinciding with $1 billion in unprecedented state Medicaid cuts to home care over two years coupled with the state’s initiation of new long term care policy changes that risk compromise to home care providers financially if appropriate transition measures are not instituted during this year’s state legislative session.

Continue reading “HCA Report: Cuts Plunge NY Home Care Agencies Further in the Red”

New Study Quantifies Value of Home Care Programs In Reducing Hospital Readmissions and Costs

For immediate Release: November 28, 2012

For More Information

Kristy Wright (Simone Healthcare Consultants), (724) 679-6675

Roger Noyes (HCA), (518) 810-0665

As hospitals look to reduce their rates of readmission and avoid consequent Medicare penalties, a new study by Simione Healthcare Consultants profiles five innovative programs developed by home care agencies to substantially lessen the need for patients to return to the hospital for treatment.

The study, prepared by Simione in partnership with the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA), specifically found that innovative care-transitions programs for a defined group of high-risk patients at just five of New York State’s approximately 230 Medicare-certified home health agencies saved $1.2 million in averted hospital expenses annually by reducing each agency’s 30-day readmission rate, a key quality metric in federal health reform efforts. Continue reading “New Study Quantifies Value of Home Care Programs In Reducing Hospital Readmissions and Costs”

Home Care Association Presents Caring Award to St. Francis Home Health Aide Patricia Scully

For immediate Release: May 24, 2012

Contact:

St. Francis Home Care Services: Nicole Peluse (845) 431-8291

HCA: Roger Noyes (518) 810-0665

For countless reasons, St. Francis Home Care Services home health aide Patricia Scully is an ideal caregiver.

Her compassion and outstanding dedication to patients are among the many traits that earned her the “Caring Award” from the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) during a special ceremony on May 9. This award recognizes a caregiver in the home care field who “has exhibited the compassion, skills and service that sets their contribution apart or whose actions on a particular day or over a period of time exemplify caring in home care.” Continue reading “Home Care Association Presents Caring Award to St. Francis Home Health Aide Patricia Scully”

A Statement by Home Care Association of New York State President Joanne Cunningham on the Governor’s Announcement of MRT Savings

For immediate Release: May 1, 2012

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)

Today the Governor’s office announced Medicaid home care spending reductions of $300 million spurred by the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) process. Thoughtful reforms must meet the twin goals of cost-saving and enhanced care. However, the $300 million in Medicaid home care savings announced today largely reflect straightforward program cuts and unfunded mandates alone. We have yet to see what the MRT’s policies ultimately mean for patient care. This outcome will only become clearer in the months and years ahead as some of the more dramatic MRT-initiated infrastructure changes affecting home care are ultimately put in motion. Many of these initiatives have yet to gain federal approval, have yet to be fully detailed or effectively modeled by the state, and, thus, have yet to be tested.

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A Statement by Home Care Association of New York State President Joanne Cunningham on the State’s Care Coordination Guidelines                                  

For immediate Release: November 16, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)

This week the Cuomo Administration issued new guidelines dictating the type of organizations solely authorized to enroll Medicaid patients needing more than 120 days of home care services. HCA vehemently opposes this action which undermines the core of New York State’s long term home care system and could jeopardize the continuity of services for the vast majority of New Yorkers now receiving long term care at home.  Continue reading “A Statement by Home Care Association of New York State President Joanne Cunningham on the State’s Care Coordination Guidelines                                  “

During Hurricane Response, Home Care Providers Take Action for New York’s Vulnerable Patients

For immediate Release: August 31, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)

In the devastation of Hurricane Irene, home care agencies and their direct-care personnel are playing a crucial role to help those in need before, during, and after the storm.

“Home care providers and their staff are the eyes, ears and voice for many of New York’s vulnerable patients during an emergency,” said HCA President Joanne Cunningham, noting that, while the public is familiar with the important work of emergency management first responders, home care agencies have a unique role in emergency preparedness and response that may not be widely known. Continue reading “During Hurricane Response, Home Care Providers Take Action for New York’s Vulnerable Patients”

HCA and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Advance Initiatives to Support Home Care in Rural Areas

For immediate Release: June 2, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 275-6961 (cell), or (518) 810-0665 (office)

The Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) is working with the joint Legislative Commission on Rural Resources to advance initiatives aimed at supporting home care services in rural New York at a time of enormous challenges for rural areas and for rural health systems which rely on these critical access community-based programs. Continue reading “HCA and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Advance Initiatives to Support Home Care in Rural Areas”

A Statement by Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) President Joanne Cunningham on the Final 2011 State Budget

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

“This budget is catastrophic for New York’s home care system. It will bring ruin to longstanding home care programs, allows unprecedented government intrusion into home care business operations on a scale unknown to any other area of health care, and it aims a half-billion dollars in unsustainable cuts at an already financially fragile home care service delivery system that is, ironically, saving hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars to begin with.” Continue reading “A Statement by Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) President Joanne Cunningham on the Final 2011 State Budget”

HCA Testifies at Hearing Against $1 Billion Assault on Home Care

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665 office, (518) 275-6961 cell

HCA President Joanne Cunningham today delivered testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees urging the Legislature’s rejection of the disastrous, disproportionate and lethal home care reductions and unfunded wage mandates in the package recently approved by the Cuomo Administration-led Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT): a $1 billion impact to home care, according to updated estimates. Continue reading “HCA Testifies at Hearing Against $1 Billion Assault on Home Care”

A Statement by HCA President Joanne Cunningham on Governor Cuomo’s Budget

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2011

Contact: Roger Noyes, (518) 810-0665

Today Governor Cuomo released a budget containing billions in unprecedented Medicaid reductions, cutting at the heart of New York’s health care system.

While providing no details as to how exactly these destructive cuts would be spread across the health delivery system, the Governor’s budget speech did, however, single out home care using misinformation and politically-motivated rhetoric, again neglecting crucial facts.

Continue reading “A Statement by HCA President Joanne Cunningham on Governor Cuomo’s Budget”