1:29 PM Eastern - Monday, April 18, 2011

Fact Check: Is split shift care for NY homecare consumers no longer covered by Medicaid? #the-healthcare-law

Jen from Valley Stream, New York recently sent in this question related to homecare and Medicaid:

Q: Home care field nurses are faced with explaining to their patients why "split shifts" will no longer be covered by Medicaid. How do I go about explaining this new rule and whom should I place blame?

A: CDAV_bobbie_coward_0434-1.JPGSplit shift care is when two homecare attendants work twelve hours per day, seven days per week to provide round-the-clock care to a patient because of his/her medical condition and disabilities.

While this is not a question related to the Affordable Care Act or the national healthcare law, it is an area of care that can generate lots of questions on the state level.

I checked in with the nurses of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East to get some help in answering this, and basically, here's what is happening on this issue:

  1. It is not true that split shifts will no longer be covered by Medicaid in New York State.
  2. What is happening is a new program is being initiated by New York City to increase the use of alternatives like live-in cases and adult-day programs. You can read more about that program here.

What you can do if a patient has concerns regarding the level of care and services they have been given through Medicaid

First and foremost, make sure to explain their right to a fair hearing.

Proposals to eliminate split shifts have been defeated for the last two years by sustained union advocacy on behalf of homecare consumers in Albany, despite tremendous pressure to cut the Medicaid budget due to large deficits.

Jen: I hope this information is helpful to both you and your fellow nurses.

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