Representative Gale Adcock (District 41), a nurse practitioner and Chief Health Officer at SAS, recently visited home care nursing and support staff to discuss the challenges of hiring and retaining professionals skilled enough to provide care in patients’ homes. The town hall, held at a BAYADA Home Health Care office in Raleigh on August 31, was an opportunity for local BAYADA staff serving pediatric, adult, and senior patients with a variety of needs to share their concerns with the legislator about low Medicaid rates.
A former home health nurse with the Wake County Health Department, Adcock empathized with the need for highly trained professionals in the home, along with the challenge of attracting them when Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low. “Home care makes financial sense,” Adcock said. “The level of engagement provided by one-on-one home care is what keeps your patients from getting worse or going back into the hospital.”
“It’s difficult to compete for certified nursing assistants with hospitals and nursing homes, as well as with retail and fast food, especially when the Medicaid rate for aide services, before overhead comes out, is $13.88,” said Lee Dobson, government affairs director with BAYADA, who arranged the town hall. “While it takes a special kind of person to make that one-to-one connection in care delivery, it is a tough job, and we can’t pay what people are worth.”
“Hospitals are discharging quicker and sicker, so our nurses and certified aides need to be highly trained,” said Amy Carle, a clinical associate from Wake Forest. Stacey Eanes, a BAYADA director from Raleigh, added, “not only do we ensure our staff receive all the necessary training but that they feel confident and able to deliver the best care independently at home, but we struggle to attract and retain aides due to the low Medicaid reimbursement rates.”
Adcock serves on a number of standing committees including House Appropriations and Health Committees, the bodies responsible for North Carolina’s state budget and oversight of the Medicaid program, respectively. “It is only by investing,” said Adcock, “that trained professionals will stay in home care.”
Rep. Adcock with BAYADA staff in Raleigh Clinical manager Rita Cavallaro from Garner shared that she enjoyed having the ability to connect with her legislator. “It’s clear she really wants to help people.”
Founded in 1975 by J. Mark Baiada, BAYADA Home Health Care provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and assistive care services to children, adults, and seniors in the comfort of their homes. Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, BAYADA employs more than 23,000 nurses, home health aides, therapists, medical social workers, and other home health care professionals who serve their communities in 22 states from more than 300 offices. For more information, visit www.bayada.com.