Letter: A rare bird

Published: 1/31/2023 7:00:16 AM
Modified: 1/31/2023 7:00:04 AM

SB 36 is a rare bird in the New Hampshire Legislature: an ambitious healthcare reform bill with bipartisan support. It would create a new system of supports and services brought into the homes of disabled and older adults who need regular assistance performing essential activities of daily life. The typical cost of long-term care services in the home costs tens of thousands of dollars per year. Not surprisingly, Medicaid is the most common payer for long-term care services. A large percentage of middle class people will eventually use up their private assets paying for such home care, and become eligible for Medicaid.

SB 36 will reduce the Medicaid application process for home care from 6 weeks to a few days, thus promptly getting people needed care and clearing a hospital bed if they are waiting to be discharged home with services. The bill also calls for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates adjusted annually for home-care provider organizations and thereby seeks to improve the wages of direct-care workers. It expands the oversight role of the office of long term care ombudsman to oversee the quality of home care. And, to help each of us work through the complexities of our overall healthcare system, it would increase funds for the Service Link Program to specifically help individuals and families choose the best sources of home care. For these reasons, I encourage everyone to contact their legislators to ask each of them to support this bipartisan system for home care.

Randy Hayes



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