Date: 07/27/2009

Home Care Association


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

03:29 PM -- Home Care Providers

Barbara McGinn, Senior Clinical Manager and Statewide Manager, Centura Health at Home, Cindi Pursley, Director of Hospice, Centura, and Todd Chambers, All the Comfort at Home, introduced themselves to the committee. Ms. McGinn stated that services provided in the home for hospice care patients can only be reimbursed through Medicare Part D. Ms. Pursley stated that they cannot be reimbursed for palliative care under Medicare. Senator Tochtrop asked if any discussions regarding end of life were taking place on a national level. The panel stated that they were not aware, but assumed that end of life coverage was going to be included in any type of health care reform.

03:38 PM

Mr. Chambers explained that a licensing scheme was enacted in July of this year that affects home care providers. He stated that there were unintended consequences to the legislation. He noted that his company, which provides home care, has in the past, assisted in the administration of pain medications in coordination with the hospice care provider and family caregivers, but this practice has been affected by the licensing legislation. There was discussion regarding who can administer medication to home care patients. Ms. McGinn stated that home care providers would never intentionally jeopardize any patient. She stated that home care workers can safely administer medications. Ms. Pursley stated there are many safeguards in place regarding medication administration, including tracking the amount prescribed, limiting the amount of medication one can physically have in a home, and limiting the time frame in which medications may be refilled. Ms. McGinn stated that home care providers are accountable to the state and to the Joint Commission. Mr. Chambers spoke to the need to license private caregivers, however he acknowledged that it is very difficult to regulate them since they are mostly hired privately and are paid by a family member rather than an agency.