LEMOYNE Vicki Hoak, CEO of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA), released the following statement on the announcement by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that it awarded contracts for Community HealthChoices, the state's plan to implement managed long-term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities:
"The Pennsylvania Homecare Association, on behalf of its more than 700 members across the state, looks forward to working with AmeriHealth Caritas, Pennsylvania Health and Wellness (Centene) and UPMC for You to implement Community HealthChoices (CHC), the state's managed long-term services and supports program.
"It is our hope that CHC will help move Pennsylvania closer to a system that enables more people to receive the services and supports they need to remain in their own homes. Today, the system makes it easier to become eligible for Medicaid-funded nursing home care than to receive care at home, where most people want to be.
"We are hopeful that when CHC begins, eligibility for Medicaid long-term services and supports whether it is for nursing homes or home-based care will be streamlined and standardized. This uniformity is even more important since one of the main tenets of CHC is consumer choice, and we know that most people's first choice is always home.
"We applaud DHS' efforts to include stakeholders throughout the planning for this program, and now we look forward to working with these managed care organizations (MCOs) to ensure that there is no interruption in service and quality continues to be the main focus. One way of promoting quality care is through education. With My Learning Center, a free online video training resource for direct care workers and family caregivers, which is funded through the Department of Aging, PHA will continue to work with both MCOs and providers to ensure that nothing but the highest quality care is delivered to our seniors and people with disabilities."
About PHA The Pennsylvania Homecare Association is a statewide organization of more than 700 homecare and hospice providers.