The Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care (WiAHC) recently announced Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) as a “Friend of Home Health Care” recipient. WiAHC designates a select group of Wisconsin State Legislators as recipients in recognition of their efforts to encourage increased utilization of home health care as a favorable choice for post-acute care.
“Home health care is a convenient and affordable way for those who have recently been hospitalized to receive continued high quality care. I’m a firm supporter of home health care because it allows Wisconsinites to receive excellent care from nurses in the comfort of their homes,” Milroy said.
The representative continued, “One of my top priorities is making sure residents of Northwestern Wisconsin and people across the state have access to low-cost, quality health care. Home health care is a great fit for many Wisconsinites and their families, and I want it to be available to anyone who feels it would be a good option for themselves or their loved ones.”
Home health care agencies provide medical, skilled nursing services in addition to other therapeutic services through visits to individuals’ homes. According to the Department of Health Services (DHS), “Skilled care can include but is not limited to: wound care to open, infected, or complex wounds; urinary catheterization; teaching safe use of assistive devices, transferring techniques, or gait training; medication management for a patient with a complex medical condition.” Home health care differs from personal care, which includes assistance with housekeeping and other daily activities performed by someone other than a health care professional.
WiAHC is a membership association representing home health care agencies and their employees which is dedicated to promoting home health care as both a quality and cost-effective health care option in Wisconsin. This past legislative session, WiAHC worked to provide Wisconsin lawmakers with insight into workforce issues facing home health care agencies and offer solutions. Its members explained how increasing Medical Assistance reimbursements can help minimize financial burden for home health care agencies and bring in new employees. In addition, WiAHC successfully advocated for legislation that was signed into law as Act 56 this session which requires DHS to reimburse any service covered under the Medical Assistance program which is conducted via telehealth.
“I’m hopeful we can continue the discussion about home health care next session so we can make strides in expanding its utilization for Wisconsinites who would benefit greatly from going this route with their post-acute care,” continued Milroy. “I am proud to have been identified as a ‘Friend of Home Health Care’ by the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care this session, and I will continue to fight for the best health care options for Wisconsin residents.”
Milroy co-sponsored companion bills Assembly Bill 447 (AB 447) and Senate Bill 416 (SB 416) which WiAHC worked to introduce this legislative session. These bills would have required DHS to increase reimbursement rates for home health care services from the Medical Assistance program. SB 416 received a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, but it did not advance further in the legislative process this session. Milroy is looking forward to continuing efforts to support home health care in the next session which begins in January.