Biden Administration Aims to Expand Home-Based Care for Medicaid Recipients
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Home-based care advocates say they are confident measures outlined in President Joe Biden's now-stalled Build Back Better Act will move forward in some form.
The legislation aims to expand access to services to older adults and people with disabilities, as well as boosting pay for workers who provide home-based care. Currently, more than 3.5 million people rely on Medicaid's Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).
Connie Garner, national policy director for Easterseals, explained demand for home care has outpaced resources, and as a result, more older adults end up in nurse homes.
"That costs more money, that causes more isolation, and that's not what we should have in this country," Garner asserted. "We should have the ability to have people be able to be taken care of correctly at home. And we have to be able to pay and support the providers of that care. They become an essential member of that family."
According to the research firm Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, more than two million home care workers earn around $16,000 per year, and one in six live below the federal poverty line.
A report by the ICA group found West Virginia is facing a troubling home-caregiver shortage with one caregiver available for roughly every 11 clients.
In Washington, lawmakers say portions of the Build Back Better Act will likely pass this year, but it remains unclear whether the $150 billion earmarked for Medicaid HCBS will remain intact.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2020 more than 2.5 million people nationwide received Home and Community Based Services, with hundreds of thousands more on wait lists.
Amber Christ, director of health policy and advocacy for Justice in Aging, said families are forced to make tough choices.
"From an older adult perspective, this lack of investment in home and community-based services in effect pushes older adult into nursing facilities unnecessarily," Christ contended.
A survey by AARP found 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence as long as possible, but just 46% anticipate they will be able to stay in their current home.
Home- or community-based services White House 09/21/2021
Home care worker statistics Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute 2019
Home care assessment ICA Group Oct. 2017
Bill prospects The Hill 01/25/2022
Service waivers Kaiser Family Foundation 2018
Needs assessment National Center for Biotechnology Information 12/18/2014
Preference survey AARP July 2019
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
A bill moving through the Kentucky Legislature would make fluoride treatment in drinking water optional for local municipalities. House Bill 141 …
Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …
New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …
A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …
A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …
A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…
Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …
Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …