Home care advocates in the Tar Heel state worked at lightning speed this “short” session to ensure home care was a major priority for the General Assembly. Despite the challenges that often come with the short session, during which only minor tweaks are typically made to the state’s budget, home care advocates were relentless, and, as a result, our voices were heard in Raleigh.
In the State’s 2022 Budget, which was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on July 11, lawmakers took action to prevent a more than 18% cut to Medicaid aide services by extending the temporary COVID-19 add-on rates to December 2022. While advocates were hoping for a greater investment, it is a step in the right direction. These add-on rates were due to expire in July, and without them, the access-to-care crisis already impacting tens of thousands of North Carolina families would have intensified dramatically.
Let’s take a look at some of the great advocacy work that elevated home care as a priority:
- In the largest Home Care Advocacy Day to date, more than 150 advocates representing 50+ providers took to Raleigh to met with lawmakers representing every corner of NC to stress that #CareCantWaitNC.
- BAYADA Home Health Care’s Regional Director, Shannon McCarson, was published in the Charlotte News Observer, where he emphasized the severity of the home care workforce crisis in North Carolina, and the need for the General Assembly to act swiftly to prevent a worsening of this crisis.
BAYADA home care client, Job Gilliam with his home health aide.
- Job Gilliam, a home care client, shared his story with the Hickory Daily Record. Job, who is living with Multiple Sclerosis, relies on Medicaid aide services provided by his dedicated home health aide, Carson, to remain in his home and to raise his son.
- BAYADA leaders, David Baiada, Chief Executive Officer, and David Totaro, Chief Government Affairs Officer, wrote a joint letter to the Governor and key leaders in the NC General Assembly voicing support for Medicaid expansion and identifying opportunities to strengthen home care services.
- Teresa Montgomery, another home care client, penned an op-ed in the Winston Salem Chronicle. In the article, Teresa advocated on behalf of the aides who keep her safely cared for at home and stressed the fear she has if the aide workforce crisis is not properly addressed: “I do not belong in a senior facility,” she shared, “but that’s where I will be if I can’t find enough care to help me live at home.”
Our work is far from over – Hearts for Home Care (H4HC) ambassadors and advocates, and North Carolina’s home care coalition of providers are committed to working with lawmakers to secure a permanent solution to the home care workforce crisis.
We won’t stop until every North Carolinians in need of home care has access to the services they need and deserve. Please learn more about this movement by registering as a H4HC advocate, or by reaching out to [email protected]. Don’t forget to spread the word on social media because #CareCan’tWaitNC.
Despite the fact that many people in government and regulatory positions agree that home health care is a cost-effective, patient-preferred solution, it continues to be prioritized below institutional care. Not investing in home care will decrease the supply of qualified workers, increase turnover, and compromise the quality of home care services. At Hearts for Home Care, we help those that care about home care by enabling YOU to get involved at the capacity in which you’re able to do so.
Email us at [email protected] or visit our website in order to learn more about the home care advocacy community and find opportunities to get involved.