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Convene a Home Care Dialogue: An Evolving Field Needs Solutions

July 11, 2017

Anyone who has seen the news in the past five years knows there has been an enormous amount of change in the American health care system. This is equally true for home care in New York State, which has undergone notable changes such as the move to Medicaid managed long-term care, increased labor costs, and the growing chasm between costs and reimbursement rates, among others.

Amidst these ongoing changes, there have been few opportunities for home care leaders to gather together to discuss current issues and to prepare for the future. To remedy this, PHI recently convened leaders from seven home care agencies for a day-long discussion of the changes in the field, with a particular focus on the evolving role of the home care aide. Issue 11 in PHI’s #60CaregiverIssues Campaign summarizes the key findings of the discussion from that day. The four key themes that emerged are:

  1. Home care leaders have a strong sense of what it means to provide “quality” home care, yet they struggle to achieve common definitions and measures across the health care system;
  2. Home care leaders are challenged with maximizing the evolving role of the home care aide while improving job quality and complying with new rules and regulations;
  3. Technology can dramatically change both home care delivery and home care jobs, yet providers are unable to fund new innovations; and
  4. Home care leaders are eager for more solution-oriented conversations on how to improve homes care jobs and care delivery.

To deepen the insights developed during the convening, PHI also drew on the expertise of other leaders in the field, representing Medicaid managed long-term care plans, advocates, and others.

One of those experts, Bruce Vladeck, Senior Advisor to the Greater New York Hospital Association, summarized the value of the gathering and related report as follows: “The critically important world of home care, which can provide a lifeline for older adults and people with disabilities, is too often overlooked, ignored, or misunderstood. Convening home care agencies for thoughtful, wide-ranging discussions such as this one is necessary to call attention to the major issues affecting this vital sector.”

Read the full report here.

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