According to a not-so-shocking survey done by AARP, nine out of ten elderly Americans said they would rather be taken care of in their own homes than in a nursing home. For most of us, the ability to spend our final years in the comfort of our homes is ideal. Unfortunately, the elderly are at the bottom of the list to receive home healthcare in most states. New Hampshire, among many other states, are taking action to put a stop to these barriers.
Medicaid waiver programs have been an option for patients 20+ years. They allow the elderly and disabled to receive their care at home. The creation of Medicaid waivers was a no-brainer. The cost to provide one patient with care in an institution can cover three patients for in-home care. Although we have come a long way from the days of facility-only care, there is more that can be done to ensure more elderly American’s receive in-home care.
A Provision for Change
A provision created by the Affordable Care Act called the Balancing Payments Program is designed to make sure most qualifying patients stay out of facilities and keep their healthcare in-home. States that are involved in the BPP are given a higher amount of funds from the federal government. But, there is one big stipulation. In order to receive a chunk of the $3 billion program, they must make it easier for caretakers and patients to maneuver their way through the home healthcare process.
According to USA Today, states must create a “no-wrong-door” approach to helping patients find home healthcare. Most patients and caregivers are confused as to where to turn for their in-home needs. All states enrolled in the BPP must make home healthcare information accessible in all medical facilities. The Affordable Care Act is calling on Medicaid personnel to keep local service organizations up to date on home healthcare procedures so no patient has a door closed on them.
In addition to having knowledgeable healthcare professionals, each state must also assign every patient with a case worker that has no ties to a nursing home or healthcare facility. In order to qualify, states must have spent less than 50% of their Medicaid long-term and community care in 2009. Other states currently enrolled in the program besides New Hampshire include: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.
Searching for a Better Future for the Elderly and Behaviorally Disabled
New Hampshire is making prominent strides to better their home healthcare efforts. At least 99% of people with developmental disabilities are being taken of in their own homes in NH. They are hoping that elderly home care will soon reach that same percentage with the help of the Balancing Payments Program. However, it won’t be easy. Like in many states, the nursing home industry is booming. Many facility owners and workers are taking action to make sure their workplace keeps its business.
If New Hampshire wishes to increase their home health services, they will need to speed up their waiver approval process. Getting a home healthcare waiver approval can take up to two months, while getting approved for a nursing home is almost instant. Although New Hampshire has a way to go, they set the precedent for patients with developmental disabilities and are striving for change with the elderly and patients with behavioral disabilities.
As healthcare facilities are moving towards change, there needs to be a move in cash flow. Many healthcare agencies are struggling with the demands that the ACA and Medicaid waivers are throwing out. PRN Funding can get your facility the funds it needs to cover payroll, taxes, and other expenses with home healthcare factoring. Medicaid can take up to three months to pay your facility. With a growing staff, it is hard to keep up on bi-weekly payroll. Let PRN Funding keep your facility growing and helping those in need.