The state’s administrative rule review panel today failed to reject cuts to home care worker pay rates despite hearing from witnesses that the decreases will harm their businesses, make it harder to hire qualified nurses and will end up sending more Ohioans to nursing homes.
“These cuts will make it harder for the men and women who care for our elderly and disabled Ohioans,” said Rep. Debbie Phillips, the Albany Democratic lawmaker who serves on the panel. “This means lower wages for working Ohioans, and it will make it even harder for patients to be able to stay in their homes. This moves us in the wrong direction, and make no sense when Gov. Kasich keeps saying we want to help mom and dad stay in their home.”
In today’s meeting, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) approved the Kasich Administration’s amendments to rules setting reimbursement rates and billing procedures for home care workers under Medicaid’s Ohio Home Care Waiver Program.
“As the need for in-home care increases, the state has to get serious about strengthening our network of care by retaining and attracting the highly qualified professionals who care for our elderly, disabled and young Ohioans,” said Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron). “Unfortunately, today’s cuts move us further away from that care-focused approach to one where our elderly, disabled and young Ohioans are viewed as numbers on a spreadsheet instead of people who deserve quality care.”
In his first state budget, Gov. Kasich cut funding for in-home senior care providers and agencies by close to $200 million.