Stop Masshealth budget cuts for improved patient care!
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The recent Masshealth cuts($6M) are destroying the health of Massachusetts residents by decreasing the ability for providers to afford to give the patient services he/she needs including nursing, Home Health Aid , Physical and Occupational Therapy services. The reimbursement rates are so low that Home Health Agencies are not able to send in the appropriate services in to care for people at the needed frequency because they would be operating at a loss.
The rates that are allowed by Masshealth do not allow clinicians to be paid at the market rate. Clinicians are being asked to cut corners in patient care in order to make ends meet.
Actual scenario: An RN was treating a patient who is blind and diabetic. This patient had no support system at all. The Home Health Agency in order to cut costs asked the RN to stop seeing the patient and teach a neighbor (who the patien didn't know) to give her insulin shots.
The likelihood of this neighbor actually being reliable to complete this task is low making the re-hospitalization rate high. If nursing can't come in on a regular basis, this patient will end up in a Nursing Home in order to get 2 insulin shots per day. She received a few hours of HHA services for basic care. Otherwise, the patient was able to manage on her own at home. Paying for nursing home care instead of home health care increases Masshealth costs exponentially. Not to mention, the quality of life of the patient.
Another patient, just came home from a joint replacement. Due to his insurance being Masshealth, this patient did not get referred for Physical Therapy. The patient didn't get what he needed and ended up in increased pain and decreased function. Again, increasing Masshealth costs with more doctors visits, hospitalizations and possible need for Nursing Home Care.
These are just 2 examples out of thousands of what we are seeing as clinicians in the Home Health Care industry. It is affecting the quality of care that is being provided, creating ethical dilemmas for clinicians and difficulty filling home care positions due to the low rate of reimbursement.
Please join us in our fight to increase Masshealth rates to allow clinicians to provide the care that our patients so desperately need! Contact your local representative, senator and Governor Baker regarding how it affecting you and your patients or people you know!!
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