Providers tend to ‘high utilizers’ in lower cost settings

 OPINION PIECE JOSEPH P. MCDONOUGH

April 15, 2022

In healthcare debate, home care deserves attention

THROUGHOUT THE COVID-19 pandemic, home healthcare providers played a critical role in taking the pressure off hospitals and an overwhelmed healthcare system, enabling patients to be taken care of and remain stable at home. Home healthcare clinicians were an essential lifeline to patients across the Commonwealth – many of whom had limited resources prior to the onset of the pandemic; that problem was only further exacerbated during the last two years.

Over the last few years, some of the programs that patients relied upon for social support were closed or working at significantly reduced capacities due to mandatory stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Many home healthcare providers made significant investments in staffing, PPE, and new technology to fill that gap to ensure that their patients remained safe and well cared for in the community.

At the start of the crisis, Gov. Charlie Baker issued orders that insurers and state health plans must cover all clinically appropriate telehealth services at the same rate as in-person care. MassHealth also issued a temporary rate increase that enabled providers to secure the additional protective equipment and supplies required to treat symptomatic patients or those exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms.

Read the full piece via CommonWealth Magazine >> https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/in-healthcare-debate-home-care-deserves-attention/