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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

ith diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or congestive heart failure who received home health care within three months of being discharged from a hospital cost Medicare $1.71 billion less and had 24,000 fewer re-hospitalizations than similar patients who used other forms of post-acute care over a two-year period.

Each nurse brought photos and stories of patients who were not able to represent themselves in Washington and, during meetings with legislators from their home districts, described the ways in which home care has benefited each person. In addition to meeting with lawmakers, the nurses participated in an event to share their patients' stories and reinforce the importance of home care and hospice in our nation's health-care system.

"I've traveled to Washington to share the story of my patient Fay Wormington, of Texarkana, Ark., who was newly retired when she suffered two major strokes," said Arkansas home health nurse Kimberly Schlotter. "Fay was also diagnosed with diabetes and a heart condition, and suffered complications such as the inability to walk and understandably, depression. She was told she might never walk again. Within three weeks of leaving an institution and beginning physical and occupational therapy at home, Fay was on her feet, and has made a remarkable recovery."

Wormington, who plans to travel in an R.V. with her husband of 40 years this summer, credits her recovery to the home health care she received from nurses, including Schlotter.

"It is because of home health that I am able to do the 'little' things in life, like walking, sleeping in my own bed and many of the other freedoms we enjoy in our homes on an everyday basis," Wormington said. "If it were not for home care nurses, aides and therapists, I would not be here today."

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SOURCE The National Association for Home Care & Hospice
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