I'm writing about the Commentary "Rethinking Home Healthcare" (July 5, p. 35), which speculates that home care might better serve patients as part of the acute-care benefit.
The piece misses the point. The home-care industry is in chaos, created by the government, private insurers and itself. But overall it is not greedy, abusive or fraudulent. These attributes within the industry are the exception, not the rule.
Home health agencies, such as Visiting Nurse Associations, have provided quality home care for more than 100 years. They have saved the healthcare system billions of dollars by providing cost-effective care in the patients' homes, which is where most patients and their families prefer care to be delivered.
The "problem" does not need to be fixed by bundling home care with an acute-care system. Home care is not an add-on service, but a system within itself, with separate outcomes, standards and strengths. The solution lies within the home-care system. A hundred years of service provides the background for a prospective payment system that reimburses at a fair rate and allows the home-care provider and the physician to offer needed care.
Keep home care separate and strong, and save dollars for the entire system.
President, chief executive officer
Visiting Nurse Association of the