September 29, 2022
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Pa. needs to step in to resolve crisis of homecare health worker shortage | Letter

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As the president of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, which represents more than 700 homecare, home-health and hospice providers across the state, I am calling upon our Legislature to prioritize home and community-based services in this year’s budget.

It is our job as healthcare providers to ensure that our patients and consumers have access to quality care. As homecare providers, many of our members have a unique opportunity and responsibility to provide this care in the community, rather than in a facility.

Home is where our patients and consumers want to age and heal. Receiving care at home is strongly preferred by patients and consumers, often results in better outcomes and is less expensive than facility-based care.

Despite the overwhelming demand for home care and home care’s clear benefits, it remains chronically undervalued and underfunded in Pennsylvania.

Insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates have made it impossible for non-medical, homecare agencies to recruit and retain enough qualified workers, resulting in a crisis-level workforce shortage.

This workforce crisis not only impacts the 115,000+ Pennsylvanians who receive these services through Medicaid, it has created a ripple effect through the entire healthcare continuum, as agencies are forced to decline discharge referrals from facilities due to staffing shortages.

This year’s state budget must prioritize investments in these services to address this workforce crisis. Every Pennsylvanian should have the ability to access quality, cost-effective, and sustainable in-home care.

Visit www.pahomecare.org to send a message to your legislators in support of home care.

Lisa Giovanni is president of Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s Home Health and Hospice and president of Pennsylvania Homecare Association



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