In order for approximately 12,600 home health agencies across the country to participate in Medicaid and Medicare, they need to live up to new regulations. These regulations, published by the federal government last month, help to establish more patient rights and demand that caregivers be more directly involved and engaged in plans for patient care.
These home care and home health agencies will also need to step up and coordinate the services that their clients will need and require. The rules are set to go into effect in July, but there may be some delays. The Trump Administration will be reviewing these changes and could postpone their implementation
As reported by Judith Graham with Kaiser Health News in a blog published by PBS NewsHour entitled, New federal rules require home health agencies to do far more for patients:
“The new rules are set to go into effect in July, but they may be delayed as President Donald Trump’s administration reviews regulations that have been drafted or finalized but not yet implemented. The estimated cost of implementation, which home health agencies will shoulder: $293 million the first year and $234 million a year thereafter.
While industry lobbying could derail the regulations or send them back to the drawing board, that isn’t expected to happen, given substantial consensus with regard to their contents. More likely is a delay in the implementation date, which several industry groups plan to request.”
The AARP and other organizations hailed the new regulations as providing a great deal of benefit for seniors and other disabled adults. Home care agencies, though, are concerned about implementing some of the changes these regulations will force upon them.
National Association for Home Care & Hospice vice president William Dombi said, “There are a lot of good things in these regulations, but if it takes agencies another six or 12 months to prepare let’s do that.”
With the cost of services likely to increase across many states with minimum wage hikes going into effect and a decrease in Medicaid reimbursements since 2012, and possibly more on the way, some of these agencies are concerned about how they could implement the changes in a manner that doesn’t leave some seniors and disabled adults without the services they need.
With these new regulations, aides and other professional caregivers will need to work with family caregivers as well and not just ‘legal representatives’ that left out the client’s family.