WASHINGTON (PRWEB) August 06, 2020
David J. Totaro, Chairman of the Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care, issued the following statement today.
“The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care (PMHC) is pleased to join efforts in a national call to action with millions of Medicaid home and community-based services providers, direct care workers and individuals who are requesting Congress fund Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) in the next stimulus package.
“Today’s call to action follows PMHC’s grassroots campaign in July 2020 which resulted in over 24,000 messages sent to Congress requesting funding for enhanced wages for the direct care workforce and Medicaid HCBS programs that are enabling at-risk populations to remain safe at home during this pandemic and financial relief to states so that HCBS programs can avoid budget cuts and home care aides can keep providing care to the people most at-risk due to this pandemic.
“PMHC is comprised of organizations representing home care agencies, state and national associations, managed care organizations and other payers, and business affiliates who have come together to improve the quality and integrity of Medicaid funded home and community-based services. Recognizing the integral role of home and community-based care in the Medicaid program, PMHC is dedicated to advancing and supporting public policies that strengthen the Medicaid program for recipients and taxpayers alike.
“HCBS providers and over three million direct care workers have been on the frontline keeping more than eight million people in the U.S. safe at home during this public health crisis. These services allow older adults and individuals with disabilities, two of the most at risk population groups, to receive care in their own home or community rather than in increasingly overburdened institutions or isolated settings.
“As the COVID-19 virus spread nationally, Medicaid HCBS providers and the direct care workforce stepped up to the challenge, providing assistance with activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing, bathing, and ambulation. Approximately one in five home care aides is a single mother, over 90% are female, over 50% are people of color, and 56% live in low-income households. Thanks to the efforts of these frontline direct care workers, the essential services they provide are maintaining the health and safety of persons living at home or in community settings.
“The financial viability of Medicaid HCBS providers is critical to the national healthcare infrastructure and the direct care workforce needs financial support to ensure the continuation of these essential services. PMHC has developed a proposal for Congressional consideration that includes an HCBS Direct Care Worker Fund and allowing for individuals requiring HCBS to be considered presumptively eligible to receive care under state Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver programs for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”