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OP-ED: Home Care Aides Can Help Care Coordination Efforts

March 13, 2013

An op-ed published in the Concord Monitor on February 28 argues that home care aides are well positioned to play a significant role in care coordination.

However, the op-ed — written by Rebecca Crosby Hutchinson, the director of home care agency Lutheran Social Services In-Home Care in New Hampshire — points out that the robust care coordination necessary to reduce hospitalizations is currently not paid for adequately by either Medicaid or Medicare.

“For older adults, the home-care aide can play a crucial role in providing information about the client when health status declines or changes,” Hutchinson writes. “Experienced home-care aides are able to build a reliable and trusting relationship with their clients and family members and encourage healthy habits and safe living.”

In March 2012, a Washington, DC, forum co-sponsored by PHI and SEIU explored the possibility of using advanced training to expand the roles of home care workers within multidisciplinary care teams.

“Home care workers in advanced positions have the potential to offer tremendous value to our health care system,” said Steve Edelstein, PHI National Policy Director. “With the right training and support, these workers are uniquely qualified to improve consumers’ care quality while lowering costs.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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