As CEO of VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice, a nonprofit home healthcare agency which provides Medicaid home healthcare services to over 1000 individuals each year throughout New Haven and Middlesex counties, 825 of whom live between East Haven and Essex, in your home towns, I am very concerned about an item in the Governor’s Executive Order. It eliminates something called an “add-on” that VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice and several other Medicaid home healthcare providers apply for, and receive, each year. These agencies combined serve almost 10,000 Medicaid patients.
The “add-on” supports added expenses, such as, security escort visits, extended hours visits, and high complexity care. The elimination of the add-on will cause serious access issues.
There is no cost-effective back-up plan to manage the care needs of Connecticut’s most vulnerable and our rapidly-aging population. If home healthcare providers such as my agency are forced to further reduce their financial losses by limiting access to Medicaid patients, thousands of at-risk residents will default to hospital emergency rooms and nursing homes to receive care – at a significantly-increased cost to CT taxpayers and the State budget. This is a penny-wise, pound foolish approach.
The State Legislature must recognize that shortsighted budget cuts will have a negative and costly long-term impact on all of us living in Connecticut.
Janine Fay, BSN, MPH
President & CEO
VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice