Tuesday, September 27, 2022

To keep their son alive, they sleep shift. And I hope a nurse shows up.

Many have pinned their hopes on the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, which would provide $ 400 billion to improve home and community-based care. But since the president and Republicans are arguing over the size and scope of the proposal, it is unclear whether the part will survive.

Parents, meanwhile, are still carrying an incessant burden, increasingly alone.

A nurse caring for a medically fragile child at home has the same responsibilities as he or she would do in a hospital, but no medical assistance in emergencies. This is a high deed, and experts believe that prevailing wages do not reflect its difficulty.

According to federal guidelines, in-house Medicaid programs can care for eligible children, regardless of their families’ income, as the cost of 24-hour nursing would bankrupt almost anyone. But states usually pay nurses home care at much lower rates than they would do for equal care in a hospital or other medical center.

“They effectively set a benchmark for workers’ compensation that competitively harms this field,” said Roger Noyes, a spokesman for the New York State Home Care Association. In turn, state-certified home health agencies that provide nurses to families pay scarce salaries and rarely offer health insurance or other benefits to the nurses they employ.

Although home care is more suitable for medically fragile children, hospitals receive about half of Medicaid’s spending on these cases, compared to 2 percent for home care, studies show.

And Covid-19 has made competitive demands on nursing that have further reduced the home care workforce. The state’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, hired 40 percent more nurses by 2020 than the year before and contracted with 1,000 additional nurses once the local rental pool was depleted.

Robert Pacella, CEO of Caring Hands Home Care, the agency that staffs Henry’s case, noticed the change in January when nurses began taking the opportunity to pick up shifts and shrink new applicants.

Nation World News Desk
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