Letter to the Editor


This article comes from our electronic archive and has not been reviewed. It may contain glitches.

To the editor:

I want to call attention to the fact that November is National Home Care Month, especially in light of the recent scrutiny of our industry by both government and the media. Unfortunately, most of the coverage has failed to convey the benefits of home care and the fact that most industry providers are honest, ethical and caring.

The Medicare home-health benefit has taken a disproportionate share of the payment cuts Congress enacted as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. While the cuts were expected to reduce home-health outlays by $16.1 billion, the actual reductions in home-health reimbursement over the same period has been closer to $50 billion. With more than 1,200 home-care agencies across the nation having closed or withdrawn from Medicare over the past year and half, patients' access to home care is in grave jeopardy.

I want to recognize our patients and their families and the caring employees who serve them. We salute the nation's oldest form of health care and the principle upon which it was founded: to promote the health and welfare of society while sustaining the values of the patient and the home. The home-care industry deserves both recognition and thanks for maintaining this special tradition.

BARBARA A. BENDER, R.N.Infusion ManagerAmerican Homepatient

Cape Girardeau