State Cash Infusion Allows Connecticut Home Health Agency to Continue Service to Medicaid Patients
Although Hartford, Conn.-based VNA Health Care began turning away prospective Medicaid patients in early September, a cash infusion from the state has allowed the region's largest home health care agency to reopen those services, the Hartford Courant reports. Facing a shortfall of $2.8 million per year on its Medicaid business, VNA Health Care appealed to state Department of Social Services officials for additional funding. Under a legal provision allowing reimbursement rate increases in "special circumstances," the state granted the request. After state officials agreed to increase reimbursement rates, the agency "dropped its moratorium on accepting new Medicaid clients." VNA Health Care provides care for about 2,300 Medicaid patients per year. The agency now will receive about $102 for a typical nursing visit that costs the agency about $113. Previously, the reimbursement for such a visit was $89. VNA Health Care President Ellen Rothberg said, "The good news is [the state has] recognized we have a problem. The bad news is we still have a substantial problem." She added that the rate increase "would alleviate the problem, but not solve it," adding that the home health industry "will appeal to state lawmakers to increase the rates across the board" (Julien, Hartford Courant, 10/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.