As the political landscape has become extremely charged in recent years, there were a number of topics candidates focused on in an effort to garner as many votes as possible. One of those topics that an increasing number of candidates running for local, state, and federal positions began talking about was home health care access.
The topic is growing in importance not just because the baby boomer generation is now retiring, thus leading to an increase in demand for these services, but also because elderly men and women and disabled adults are struggling to afford care and support at home.
The topic of funding and providing access to home care can be a sensitive subject, and while there may not be any single right or wrong answer to helping solve this problem, the fact it’s garnering more attention within the political theater is a good sign that people are taking notice of how valuable it is, not just for the safety and integrity of seniors and disabled adults, but also helping people recover from any number of injuries or ailments following a major medical emergency.
Complications regarding home care access often involve cost and accessibility. According to the Pharos-Tribune article, Todd Young discusses ways to expand home health care access, written by Brooke McAfee:
“Tracey May, area vice president of Caretenders, said some of the biggest challenges the provider is facing is taking care of patients while facing limitations on authorized visits from insurance companies.
“With a lot of the patients, they want to tell us you can only do four visits or six visits,” she said. They’re taking a cookie cutter approach to taking care of patients. You could have 10 patients with the same diagnosis, but you can’t treat all of those patients the same. One of those patients is going to be sicker than the other depending on which stage they’re in.”
Funding is also a major concern. May said the company’s operating margin is somewhere around 15 percent, so if 6 percent is cut, it would be difficult to conduct business.
As far as funding is concerned, many people demanding universal home care access or complaining about the cost that agencies charge may not fully understand the operating costs involved in running a business like this. When the government cuts reimbursement rates, increases the amount of paperwork and time required to submit for reimbursement, or other factors come into play, it can and often does create unintended consequences whereby those very seniors and disabled adults who rely on these services may have difficulty gaining access to them.
It’s a complicated topic, but as it’s becoming a more important subject to discuss within the political spectrum, it may lead to improvements that allow more seniors and disabled adults (and their families) to gain access to these services more readily.