In support of the National Association of Home Care (NAHC) March on Washington and Law Symposium, Sansio participated in a number of events in Washington, D.C. over the past few days. Formerly known as the NAHC Policy Conference, the March on Washington included exhibitions, educational sessions, success sharing, networking, congressional updates and advocacy efforts.
The cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Nation’s Capitol.
Sansio exhibited its HomeSolutions.NET SaaS solution at the conference, demonstrating recent enhancements designed to help agencies manage to increased regulatory challenges including Face to Face encounter tracking and Therapy Review requirements.
Dale Pearson and Sue Brown from Home Care of the Grand Valley
A significant discussion point throughout the conference was the need to extend the implementation date for Face to Face encounters, which went into effect April 1, 2011. While the intention of Section 6407 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) was to gain greater physician involvement in ordering home health services, the documentation requirements for physicians do not accommodate the realities of medical practice. Together with many other stakeholders, the home care industry requested that this Face to Face requirement be delayed from being implemented until at least July 1, 2011 so details can be discussed, physician education can continue, and the requirement be more manageable.
NAHC has setup an Action Center which contains helpful information and tools to take action in support of policy priorities. Several congressional leaders voiced their support of this extension request and acknowledged their understanding that the requirement, as is, could create access problems to home care for patients in need of these vital services.
UPDATED 4/1/2011: Even though the implementation of the Face-to-Face requirement was not postponed and did go into effect April 1, 2011, NAHC and other associations continue to explore options to help ensure access to home-based care services.
On Tuesday, Sansio joined the Minnesota Home Care Association representatives on congressional visits at both the Senate and House of Representatives offices. On behalf of the industry, at both state and national levels, the advocacy team reiterated the benefits of home care to policy makers and were encouraged to hear bi-partisan support and an understanding that home care is both cost effective and a preferred care delivery model.
In preparation for visits to Capitol Hill, NAHC hosted a morning meeting which was highlighted by key Senators and Representatives speaking about their support for home care. Passionate statements were delivered in the Russell Senate Office Building’s historic Caucus Room by Senators Collins (ME), Thune (SD), Cardin(MD), and Wyden (OR).
Sentor John Thune (SD) shares his support of home care to the NAHC audience.
Following these inspiring words of support, the Minnesota advocacy team was able to share the message to ten congressional offices, including both U.S. Senators Franken and Klobuchar.
Gail Olson, US Representative Chip Cravaack, and Kraig Erickson
Home care is the answer to some of the nation’s greatest challenges. It can help save and extend lives, prevent and manage chronic diseases, and makes good economic sense, saving Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars per year. It is both a morally and financially sensible solution which will become increasingly important as 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day and will place more pressure on accessibility to health services.