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Home Healthcare Bill Gets a Boost from the Nurses

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - July 30, 2011

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Have your heard about the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2011? Perhaps not. However, if you have a loved one who is facing the issue of needing special assistance with in home care then you should become aware of this proposed law because it will have a direct impact on how a care plan is developed. The bill which is sponsored by Senator Collins (R-ME) and co-sponsored by Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has just picked up a valuable set of endorsements. Now, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is in full support of a bill that would provide its members with a greater role in determining whether or not a person should be prescribed home healthcare that would be covered by Medicare.

Moving Beyond the Limitations of Medicare Restrictions

In addition to the practice registered nurses (APRNs) the bill would also grant nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and physician assistants (PAs) to also make the call for a specific patient. As it stands today, federal law prohibits these healthcare professionals from prescribing the very services they practice in. The ANA rightly points out the limitations of the current law can cause prolonged delays for qualifying for Medicare. Because of this many patients are kept in expensive facilities when they could be discharged to their own homes where they will be provided with in home care.

How would this bill benefit you or your loved ones? Suppose a sudden illness or accident has forced you into the hospital. Aside from this particular condition you might be perfectly capable of managing your own life. It would be the nurses and other practitioners who are working with you directly in the hospital that can make a quick determination as to your status. If they can immediately prescribe in home care you can get back to your life a lot quicker. The alternative is waiting for a doctor to sign off on the care and working your way through the Medicare bureaucracy. Although efforts have been made to streamline this process, any new regulation that can speed up the application is going to be welcomed.

Benefits of In Home Care

In home care is a viable option for many seniors who have the means to navigate through their day with just a little assistance. Most recipients of in home care will have a certified specialist come into their home for several hours a day to monitor their health conditions and help with daily routines. In some cases, this in home care professional could even move in with the senior in need to provide constant companionship. In home care is available for anyone to hire independently, but when the need persists for payments to be deferred by Medicare then you’re opening the door for a brand new set of rules and regulations.

Everyone seems concerned about the rising costs of healthcare. It turns out this bill can actually lower those costs. If the same Medicare funds are used to pay for expensive facility care wouldn’t it make sense to find a way to discharge as many patients as possible from those costly environments? In home care could be the way and this bill will help facilitate the transition. 

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