"Cover Story" piece on home health care in Maine. Because of new federal regula


Casco Bay Weekly




10, 11, 13


"Cover Story" piece on home health care in Maine. Because of new federal regulations designed to save Medicare money, Kim McCarty, a nurse with Community Health and Nursing Services in Brunswick, can't see her patients as frequently or spend as much time with them as she once did. Because of the Balanced Budget Act and other caps placed on government spending, 16 home-care agencies in Maine have closed in recent years including Applegate in Falmouth and HealthSource in Portland. And others, such as HealthReach in Augusta, have laid off employees and/or slashed employee benefits to cut costs. Rebecca Colwell of HealthReach HomeCare and Hospice in Augusta said her agency expects a 20 percent drop in revenue as a result of caps. U.S. represenative Tom Allen says the federal Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) can't handle its responsibilities, and Vickie Purgavie, executive director of the Home Health Care Alliance, questions whether HCFA even understands its own rules. With statistics on home visits by Community Health Services nurses between 1991 and Dec. 1998.


Home care