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'50 Nurses from 50 States' Visit Capitol Hill to Preserve Home Health Medicare Benefit for their Patients and All Americans
Date:5/15/2009

Nurses Urge Lawmakers to 'Help Us Choose Home' as Home Care Faces $13 Billion in Cuts; New Study Shows Home Care is Cost-Effective

WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, home care nurses representing all 50 states traveled to Capitol Hill, fighting to preserve access to home care and hospice services on behalf of their patients -- and all Americans -- amid $13 billion in suggested cuts to the home health benefit in the Obama Administration's proposed 2010 budget.

"These nurses prove yet again that home care professionals are some of the most dedicated people in this nation. Each of these nurses traveled to Washington to fight for something he or she believes in, on behalf of patients who aren't able to speak for themselves," said Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, which organized the effort. "Anyone who knows or has known a home care patient can attest to the improved quality of life and dignity that home care provides, and I'm so proud of these nurses for standing up for our right to choose home."

The nurses are rallying to preserve a health-care option preferred by most Americans: Nine out of 10 seniors say they would prefer to receive health care at home rather than in an institution. Home care allows people to get the medical attention and supportive services they need in comfortable and familiar surroundings, often with family nearby. But the proposed deep cuts to the home health Medicare benefit are jeopardizing the ability for Americans - including 78 million Baby Boomers who are entering retirement age - to choose home care.

The cuts are being proposed despite research that home care is more cost effective than institutional care. The average home-care visit costs Medicare $150; the average hospital day costs $1,500. An industry study released by Avalere Health Monday indicated that Medicare patients w
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SOURCE The National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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