Advocacy in Action

PHA Members Speak Up at Sen. Casey Town Hall Meeting

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) hosted a town hall meeting in the Lehigh Valley, and PHA members did not miss the opportunity to talk to the senator about one of our biggest federal legislative priorities: legislation to make changes to PDGM, the new home health payment model which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. PHA members Lisa Giovanni, RN, MSN, President, VNA of St. Luke's Home Health & Hospice, Inc., and Michael Brown, RN, Vice President of Quality and Standards, Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, joined PHA staff to ask Sen. Casey for his support of this legislation, which would use observed evidence of provider behaviors to adjust payments rather than assumptions. Sen. Casey agreed about the importance of receiving care at home, and said he will look further into this issue.

HomePAC Supports Sen. Ryan Aument

PHA CEO Teri Henning and Government Relations Director Katie Dotto attended a fundraiser for state Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) on behalf of HomePAC. Sen. Aument is the newest member of the Pennsylvania State Senate Republican Leadership team. As Caucus Secretary he is charged with recording caucus meetings where discussions about major policy decisions take place, as well assisting the Majority Leader in various capacities. Coming into the General Assembly as a member of the State House of Representatives in 2010, Sen. Aument quickly earned the respect of his peers. He won election to the Senate in 2014. He is a firm believer in creating economic opportunities for citizens through free enterprise and is expected to experience continued success in office.   

PHA Members Meet with Congresswoman Wild to Discuss Care at Home

On Feb. 22, representatives from PHA member agencies and PHA CEO Vicki Hoak met with U.S. Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA 7th District), newly elected to Congress in November, in her home district in Bethlehem.

During the informal meet and greet, the group discussed issues impacting homecare and federal legislation of importance to the industry, such as The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). The group also encouraged the House to introduce legislation that would refine home health payment through the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) to ensure behavioral-based payment adjustments are rooted in evidence and observed data.

Photo from left: Heather Fotopoulos, Bayada; Michelle Udicious, St. Luke’s Home Health & Hospice; Rep. Wild; PHA CEO Vicki Hoak (back row); Mike Brown, Preferred Home Health Care; Megan Saraceno, Bayada (back row); Michael Detweiler, Bayada. 

Senior Support Coalition Hosts Breakfast for Legislators

Members of the Senior Support Coalition, including PHA, hosted a breakfast on Feb. 5 for new legislators and committee chairs. More than 25 legislators attended to learn more about protecting older adults in Pennsylvania. Other members of the Senior Support Coalition include AARP, Alzheimer’s Association of PA, Center for the Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, PA Association of Area Agencies on Aging, PA Adult Day Services Association, and PA Association for Senior Centers. Photos – Left: PHA COO Jennifer Haggerty talks with Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery), majority chair of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. Right: PHA CEO Vicki Hoak meets with Rep. Joseph Webster (D-Montgomery) (left) and Rep. Joseph Hohenstein (D-Philadelphia) (right).

Three PHA Member Agencies Highlight Home-Based Care for Legislators

Recently, Clarion Forest VNA, Visiting Angels, York, and UPMC Susquehanna Home Care & Hospice invited their local legislators into the homes of three consumers. State Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) (kneeling in photo to left) visited a patient of Clarion Forest VNA in late December; State Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) visited a patient with UPMC Susquehanna Home Care & Hospice; and State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) (kneeling on left in photo to right) visited a client of Visiting Angels, York. All three visits were a great opportunity for the state lawmakers to learn more about homecare and why it is so important to those who receive the care.

Legislators Attend Deer Meadows Veterans Library Dedication

PHA Board Member Stanley A Rynkiewicz III, RN, MSN, WCC, DWC, CCS, NHA, recently spearheaded an effort to create the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library at Deer Meadows Retirement Community. Several legislators, including state Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) (left) and state Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of the library, in memory of Stepanski, a World War II Army veteran who fought in the Battle of Manila in the Philippines.