On April 2nd, The Florida Senate passed the Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange Program that would accept federal funds under the Affordable Care Act to establish a state-run private insurance exchange for low-income residents. The Home Care Association of Florida
, representing more than 2,000 licensed home health agencies that serve more than 150,000 Floridians on any given day, strongly supports the proposed plan to expand Medicaid in Florida.
HCAF President, Anthony Clarizio, made the following statement:
“Expanding Medicaid to 800,000 state residents who have jobs but cannot afford health coverage is not only a moral imperative, but is the only viable option to address basic health care for those who need it most.
“The home care industry, which provides care for 150,000 Floridians per day, plays an integral role in giving expanded quality care to an ever-growing population, all while saving the state money. Caring for patients at home is not only more cost-effective than institutional care, but also decreases hospital readmission rates. Expanding Medicaid would mean that home care providers could service more patients, saving both the government and patients millions of dollars.
“Florida’s home care agencies are prepared to provide cost-effective, high-quality care to this expanded Medicaid population. The Home Care Association urges lawmakers to put partisan politics aside and provide the support our patients so desperately need.”
Home Care providers across the Sunshine State also speak out in support of Medicaid expansion:
“Our company performs large percentage of personal care visits in the home for Medicaid patients in the statewide Long Term Care program. The insurance companies involved have reduced prices but assured the quality remains the same. With that reality, Medicaid in Florida has earned the right to grow. Through our company we have seen how expanding Medicaid will save money over all, and we support it.”
-Sean Schwinghammer, Director of Legislative Affairs & Business Development, Caring Home Care
“Medicaid expansion for the State of Florida will increase access to quality care for thousands of under-served Floridians. It is in the best interest of our state to consider Medicaid expansion as a viable option to allow for improving our overall community health and wellness and allow Medicaid patients to receive care support services in the comfort of their own homes.”
-Bobbie D’Angola, Executive Management, United HomeCare
“Expanding Medicaid in Florida would not only mean that my agency could expand and thrive, but it would also mean that the overall quality of care for patients would increase. In an industry already stifled by government red tape and costly regulations, expanding Medicaid would be a step towards providing the relief our home care agency so desperately needs. There are not enough providers in the state to meet the needs of this under-served population and by expanding Medicaid the patients would receive the care they need. Patients deserve to be at the center of health care in Florida. Expanding Medicaid would significantly increase access to more patients right in the comfort of their own homes.”
Background on Home Health and Medicaid:
- AARP reports that on average, the Medicaid program can provide home and community-based long term care services(HCBS) to three people for the cost of serving one person in a nursing home.
- AARP reports that states that invest in HCBS, over time, slow their rate of Medicaid spending growth, compared to states that remain reliant on nursing homes.
Click here for HCAF’s 2015 Legislative Priorities, including telehealth expansion and expanding prescription practices for ARNPs.