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ACHC and the March on Washington

Barb Sylvester
VP of Clinical Compliance & Accreditation
Accreditation Commission for Health Care

As I participated in the annual National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) March on Washington / Private Duty Home Care Integrated Conference & Exposition, I thought of private duty providers who have never had the opportunity to attend this event and wanted to share my experience.

NAHC arranged for eight Senators to address the home care attendees from a variety of states, and we listened as these bipartisan champions of our health care causes provided perspectives on the 2013 legislative agenda.  Each Senator had a personal connection to home care as they relayed stories of how a hospice nurse or private duty aide touched their lives and reinforced the need for all of us to advocate for our businesses and patients.

We spent the next six hours meeting with Senators and Representatives and spoke about the topics that are important to private duty care providers. Although I now work for the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, the only national health care accrediting agency started for providers, by providers. I have been in your shoes and am fully aware of the hardships agencies face.  ACHC was proud to advocate on behalf of those who could not be there because you were caring for the patients or tending to daily operations.

We talked about the real issues:
  • Amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to exempt home care providers from the employer responsibilities or provide a subsidy to all providers to supply health insurance
  • Block any attempt to modify the existing definition and application of the companionship services and live-in exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Block efforts to impose a fee paid by patients to access home health services; no cuts, no copays
  • Require coverage of home care and hospice in private health and long term care insurance
  • Allow Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to sign home health plans of care
  • Provide support for home health agencies to utilize telehomecare technologies
All the Senators and Representatives that we met with asked that you share your stories with them. They want to know that these topics are of importance to your organization. Your phone calls and letters CAN make a difference. 

As an accreditation organization, we spend time at agencies conducting compliance surveys, providing best practices and witnessing the excellent care you provide. On this day, our voices united in seeking support on important home care legislative topics.  ACHC provides a partnership with you whether that entails educating you on standards or speaking on your behalf to legislators. 

The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) is a not-for-profit accrediting organization that has represented quality and excellence in the health care industry for more than 25 years. ACHC was created For Providers, By Providers and has CMS Deeming Authority for Home Health, Hospice and DMEPOS services. For more information on ACHC’s accreditation programs, visit

Editor’s Note:  Accreditation for Private Duty Home Care is growing across the country, and particularly in those states that have increased the restrictions on their licensure process.  We encourage you to explore private duty accreditation with the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.  
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