Practitioner gives man shot

Home care providers were pleased to learn that the new administration’s pandemic preparedness plan offers a nod to home care for older adults.

Unveiled on Thursday during his Biden’s first full day as president, the plan states, “Specific actions include efforts to increase funding for community health centers, provide greater assistance to safety-net institutions, strengthen home- and community-based services, expand mental health care, and support care and research on the effects of long COVID.”

Moreover, the plan makes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Administration for Community Living, responsible for advancing efforts to provide increased assistance to seniors receiving at-home care. The plan also states that the administration will pay “particular attention” to “the home care workforce crisis.”

William Dombi headhot
William Dombi

Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, told the Inside Health Policy news outlet that such statements “should be viewed favorably,” but that details on the new administration plans for supporting HCBS remain unknown. “We will have discussions with the Administration on this once the dust settles a bit,” Dombi said.

In addition, the plan calls for CMS to evaluate how to incorporate quality measures for COVID-19 immunizations into its value-based purchasing programs, including Medicare Advantage Star-Ratings, the physician quality payment program and accountable care programs, as a means for tracking the vaccination progress for seniors receiving care at home and in congregate settings.