The hearings have especially focused on nursing homes. At both hearings, lawmakers raised numerous questions about nursing home fatality rates, how the data were represented, nursing home visitation policies, and more. The August 10 hearing also included powerful testimony from patients and families.
In his testimony, Cardillo chronicled the heroic work of home care in the pandemic, the many stresses and challenges faced by the home care system (including problems accessing personal protective equipment and workforce impacts), needed changes to support home care, and opportunity areas for leveraging home care supports.
Legislators were particularly interested in hearing more from HCA about: our proposals for virtual aide training; our calls for the state Department of Health (DOH) to release survey data that has been collected from home care providers quantifying the impact of COVID-19; and the need for DOH action to implement broader non-physician-practitioner (NPP) ordering permissions that are now allowed by the federal government. On the NPP issue, state officials have failed to act on the federal reforms, creating an inconsistency that demands a resolution.
The hearing was led by the Senate’s and Assembly’s respective committees on Health and Aging as well as the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations and the Assembly Standing Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation.
HCA will report back on any further developments arising from the hearing and our follow-up discussions with lawmakers on some of the urgently needed remedies described in our testimony.