Many of the people calling on Indiana state legislators to devote more financial resources to in-home health care support services are parents of children dealing with a variety of medical needs. However, it’s not just children who will need these services in the coming years.
Currently, there are an estimated 14,000 people relying on Medicaid funded home care in the state. The problem for many of these parents and senior clients is keeping quality visiting nurses and maintaining some level of consistency.
If patients can’t maintain consistency, there could be gaps in services while looking for a new provider. That is a stressful situation that can affect careers, finances, and health of those who need these services. For many of these children and seniors who need direct medical care at home, they have worked with dozens of in-home health care nurses over a period of just a few short years.
Part of the problem, according to some advocates, is relatively low reimbursement rates from Medicaid. That’s why these families are calling on state legislators to increase funding for in-home healthcare providers.
According to RTV6 in Indianapolis’ blog, Hoosier families want more resources for home health care, written by Stephanie Wade:
“Evan Reinhardt with the Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care says in some cases, nurses on the facility side can make double what home care nurses do. And legislators recognize it, too.
“We are trying to put more money in the hands of those home care providers so they can be competitive when they’re competing against hospitals and other healthcare providers,” Sen. John Ruckelshaus, R-Indiana, said.
“We are seeing much more of a response from the legislature,” Reinhardt said. “Now it’s a question of can we see some dollars put behind these services?”
A significant number of these visiting nurses are often leaving their jobs in home health care to go to better paying work at hospitals and other healthcare providers, including nursing homes. In-home care has notoriously paid these aides and visiting nurses lower wages, and part of that is due to the cuts in Medicaid reimbursements made at the federal level.
It appears as though the state legislature is paying attention, but whether that results in increased funding or not is yet to be seen. The legislature has already passed its budget for the next year, but it is also sitting on an estimated $2 billion in surpluses. Hopeful families and those in need are waiting for a chance to keep quality nurses for in-home healthcare.