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Bayada Nurses Advocates for Increase in Medicaid Reimbursement Rate to Allow More Individuals to Receive Home Care and Hire More Skilled Staff
Date:4/8/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Costs are rising on everything from bread to education, and health care is no exception. With a $41 loss every time a nurse visits a Medicaid patient in the home, the urgent need for an increase in a state medical assistance reimbursement increase is clear, according to nurses and other home care advocates visiting legislators today as part of Bayada Nurses Day in the state Capitol.

The cost of a nurse's visit to a home care patient is about $118, but the Medicaid reimbursement rate is only set at $77. This means that home care agencies face great difficulty hiring and retaining skilled staff and remaining competitive for staff with others in the health care field. It also means that with the skyrocketing costs of fuel, worker compensation, and medical supplies there are significant budget shortfalls, forcing many agencies to cut back services.

"The role of home health care is expanding," said J. Mark Baiada, President and CEO of Bayada Nurses." From high-tech services for medically fragile children to services for the elderly to help them remain in their own homes, the need for home care is growing. Yet the shortage of nurses and other key staff, and stagnant reimbursement rates, threaten the availability of high-quality accessible services."

Each week more than 190,000 people receive home care services in Pennsylvania. That number is about the population of: Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, and Altoona combined. With so many citizens using home care making it a priority is essential to the health and peace of mind of not only patients, but their families.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell has praised home care as an asset to the Commonwealth by keeping down the costs of health care by providing quality service, personal attention, and nursing skills without the overhead costs that can come with long term nursing facilities or hospitals. But critical funding has not yet followed favorable reviews. T
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SOURCE Bayada Nurses
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