Situation Report | June 7, 2021
An expansive page-one story in Saturday’s New York Times examines the nursing shortage in home care and its emotional, physical and economic impact on families with children needing medically complex care.
Over the past month, HCA worked with the Times reporter, providing background on pediatric home care, sharing academic studies and data, and connecting the reporter to HCA provider members who deliver pediatric home care services.
In our conversations with the Times, HCA pointed to the disparities in reimbursement for pediatric home care services, including recent data showing that, nationally, only 2 percent of Medicaid spending for complex pediatric cases is directed toward home care, as compared to other settings.
State and federal reimbursements lag behind the actual cost of care and “effectively establish a benchmark of workers’ compensation that competitively disadvantages this field,” HCA’s Communications Director Roger Noyes says in the article, which emphasized the challenges of recruiting and retaining nurses in home care versus other settings.
Among our workforce proposals, HCA has advanced legislation that would compel the state to conduct a competitive labor market analysis for home care and get to the bottom of what benchmark compensation levels are necessary to attract and retain staff across the various home care disciplines and regionally across the state, with reimbursement to support those fundings.
Also quoted in the article are HCA members Bayada Home Health Care and St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.
Bayada and St. Mary’s home care division are members of an HCA pediatric workgroup that met recently to discuss a range of coverage, authorization, reimbursement, and program issues to help support pediatric home care services for kids and overcome major access-to-care issues. In follow-up to the May 24 meeting, we are mapping out next steps for advocacy.