WASHINGTON, May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- David J. Totaro, Chairman of the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care (PMHC), issued the following statement today with the release of important policy recommendations by the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care:
"As the Administration and Congress consider modifications to the Medicaid program, we urge that individuals' access to home-based care and services be expanded. Home-based care is well-documented as a highly-focused, low-cost, and consumer-preferred solution. Every day, home-based care service providers deliver clinically-advanced and cost-effective services to Americans.
"The Medicaid program plays a vital role across our nation, however there are aspects of the program that need modernization and improvement. Nowhere is this as evident as the bias that still exists within the program for institutionalization of individuals who can be served equally well and at much lower cost in their homes and communities. The basic structure of the Medicaid program makes access to institutional services the default and services in the home and community the exception. Indeed, Medicaid often still requires that individuals who want to remain in their homes instead be placed in nursing facilities where they are segregated from their friends and families at greater cost to the Medicaid program and taxpayers.
"For that reason, the Partnership is proud to urge legislative and administration action that will improve and modernize the Medicaid program and expand access to home-based care and services. Among the specific ideas advanced by the Partnership are:
- "Adoption of a "Home First" model that would ensure individuals are offered home-based care and services if they qualify for and desire such placement, rather than being summarily routed to a nursing home setting.
- "Rebalancing of Medicaid mandates so that home-based care and services are on equal footing with nursing home care through such means as reduced state reliance on Medicaid Waivers to offer home and community-based services and extension of presumptive eligibility and spend-down policies to include individuals receiving home and community-based services.
- "Expanded access to long-term services and supports (LTSS) for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare by supporting improvements to duals programs, such as through allowing shared cost savings between Medicare and Medicaid, so that their needs can be met through more cost-effective home and community-based services (HCBS).
- "Expanded utilization of consumer-directed smart home technology, which is already in use by private payers and Medicare Advantage plans, due to its demonstrated ability to continuously monitor individuals' status and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations via proactive intervention.
- "Implementation of value-adding program updates relating to housing tax credits and vouchers, benefit and functional assessment tools for individuals with cognitive impairments, and payment accuracy to ensure appropriate allocation of resources and a reduction in Medicaid spending through expanded access to consumer-preferred, cost-effective home and community-based care and services.
- "Stronger Medicaid program integrity via such improvements as open Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) systems that allow for state flexibility in order to account for unique program features and populations served, appropriate qualification standards for personal care aides, standardized payment rules and program processes, and minimum standards to ensure that utmost competency and integrity of all program participants.
- "Preservation of innovative programs such as the Community First Choice Option and Money Follows the Person that provide states with incentives for supporting Medicaid recipients in their homes and communities rather than in nursing homes or other institutional facilities.
"By strengthening Medicaid recipients' access to high-quality, lower-cost, consumer-preferred home and community-based services, we are confident these reforms can improve self-determination, outcomes, along with increased quality of life and satisfaction, and significantly reduce program costs. We look forward to working with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congress, and State Medicaid Agencies to strengthen and preserve individuals' access to high-quality, high-value home-based care."
The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care (PMHC) is comprised of organizations representing home care agencies, associations, technology vendors and payers who have come together to improve the quality and integrity of Medicaid funded home- and community-based services. Recognizing the integral role of home- and community-based care in the Medicaid program, the PMHC is dedicated to advancing and supporting public policies that bring accountability to and secure the Medicaid program for care recipients and taxpayers alike.
Members of the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care include Members of the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care include: Addus HomeCare, All Metro Health Care, Anthem, BAYADA Home Health Care, CareCentrix, Caring Associates, CellTrak Technologies, Centene, Consumer Direct Care Network, Council of State Home Care Associations, HHAeXchange, Home Care Association of America, Interim HealthCare, LHC Group, Molina Healthcare, ResCare Home Care, Sandata, Sutter Care at Home, VNA Health Group, and WellCare Health Plans.
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SOURCE Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care