Americans live longer base from the statistics, thus making the population age and as it ages the need for home care workers will grow significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Standards, the Home Care Workforce will grow from 1.7 Million to 2.6 million in 2018, but the people caring for seniors in their homes earn on average less than 10 dollars an hour and many do not get benefits. A number of those workers assembled at the Food and Medicine Headquarters in Brewer Thursday to encourage their Senators to make it a priority to improve pay, benefits and training for this growing workforce.
Helen Hanson stood at a podium from her huddling under the tent and shared her financial struggles during her work as a home care worker.
“My bills are paid but when the oil tank is down do I pay the mortgage or do I spend 350 dollars to put 100 gallons in the oil tank,” she said.
Although Hanson loves going into peoples’ homes to care for them she couldn’t make the ends meet. So instead, she went to work at a rehab facility as a certified nurse and she got better pay and benefits. This kind of problem is one example of a nationwide concern.
“We have 3 million direct care health workers in the country right now and we’re projecting 27 million seniors by 2050,” Pointed out Reverend Mark Doty, one of those gathered at the Food and Medicine Rally. The pro workers group had a stage demonstration where they showed how hard their work is. The demonstration is even complete with a juggler to show how complicated it is for home care workers to juggle their responsibilities. Everything is happening while caring for a growing number of seniors and finding an easy solution may be a juggling act too. The issue becomes how to pay for a better wage for them after all agree that home care workers should be paid well.
Vickie Purgavie, executive director of the Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine, which advocate for home care businesses, says home care companies couldn’t afford to pay workers more because they depend on federal funding for most of their revenue, and their reimbursement rates are fixed. Simply put if the businesses give their workers a raise, they can’t charge the government more money to provide those raises
“So any additional requirements if you will around wages or benefits which this group of workers is so deserving of would put the home care agency at a significant deficit,” Purgavie said.
Organizers with Food and Medicine say because many home caregivers are mothers, they submitted Mothers Day cards to Senators King and Collins today, urging them to support a resolution in the Senate urging congress to address the issue of better wages and benefits for Home Care workers. A spokesperson for Senator King said he is still reviewing the legislation.
According to a recent study by SAGE Publications, individuals receiving home health services stand to experience better outcomes if cared for by the same aide day in and day out.
According to the study Continuity in the Provider of Home Health Aide Services and the Likelihood of Patient Improvement in Activities of Daily Living, patients who see the same home health aide across a series of visits have a higher likelihood of improving in various activities of daily living (ADLs) compared to patients whose care is provided by multiple aides.
Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is a large, urban, non-profit Medicare certified home health agency. Base from their studies, they found that individuals who were cared for continuously by the same aide had a 93% chance of improving their ADLs.
Those who experienced low-continuity of care were roughly 14%-15% hardly to recover their ADLs involving home health admission and discharge than persons who were constantly visited by the similar aide. Those who experienced low-continuity of care is implying to care was spread out among a variety of aides over the course of a home health service period.
Furthermore of note in the report, cases where patients had moderate-continuity did not considerably fluctuate from higher permanence cases in their likelihood of ADL development.
Researchers note that the odds of improvement among cases with high continuity are greater than those for low continuity even if a greater part of cases in the study’s populace enhanced in the figure and severity of ADLs between admission and discharge.
“Ideally, patients should receive services from a single aide over the entire period of home care,” writes the study’s lead author David Russell, Ph.D, Center for Home Care Policy & Research at VNSNY. “However, a number of staffing constraints and operational obstacles often present a challenge to achieving this goal.”
Russell added, home health agencies often provide around-the-clock care and have several staff to cover different shifts, but sometimes these staff members carry multiple case loads and have limited time for care planning, monitoring and review.
According to the report, one strategy to combat this could be to use primary provider teams in conjunction with backup provider teams to limit the number of aides who visit a patient.
A succeeding strategy the study suggests is to center on lowering the quantity of cases with low levels of continuity, and work to develop this group to a more modest level.
The results constructed upon wide research that suggests permanence in the relationship between a patient and his or her caregiver amplifies the chances of optimistic patient conclusions even though the study was supported on one non-profit Medicare-certified home health agency.
According to Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, a man who lives in Orange, Ohio admitted to overbilling Medicaid and Medicare by more than $2.5 million.
Thirty-nine year old, Divyesh “David” C. Patel, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to having been involved to health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud. Patel is anticipated to be sentenced later on this year.
Dettelbach said, “This defendant enriched himself and his company by flouting rules designed to protect the public.”
“Mr. Patel defrauded the tax payers by scamming Medicaid and Medicare,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office.
“Waste, fraud, and abuse take critical resources out of our health care system and contribute to the rising cost of health care for all Americans.”
According to court documents, Patel was the owner and president of Alpine Nursing Care Inc., located at 4753 Northfield Road, Suite 5, North Randall, Ohio, and employed Belita Mable Bush as the office manager and director of provider services from June 1, 2006 through October 18, 2009.
An additional info according to court documents is Patel and Alpine employed Bush to prepare and submit the billings to Medicaid and Medicare for reimbursement for services provided by Alpine as a home health care provider, even though Patel knew that Bush had been previously convicted of a health care-related felony that excluded Bush from being involved in any way with Alpine’s Medicaid and Medicare billings.
In addition to the fact that Bush was excluded from handling Alpine’s medical billings, Patel was aware that Bush falsified documents related to health care services allegedly provided to home health patients where the services were never provided or were provided by home health aide that had previous criminal convictions that excluded them from providing health services in people’s houses, according to court documents.
As a result of the conspiracy, Medicaid and Medicare suffered a loss of approximately $2,564,392, according to court documents.
Scheduled to be sentenced May 28, Bush was convicted on related charges.
After review of factors unique to this case, including any prior criminal record, the defendants’ role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation then the defendants’ sentence will be determined by the court. But in all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark S. Bennett and Special Assistant General Constance A. Nearhood, following an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Cleveland, Ohio; Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland, Ohio.
A condemnation is only an accusation and is not proof of guilt. A defendant is permitted to a just trial in which it will be the government’s responsibility to verify guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.