Today we talk about an explosive article that was in the Boston Globe last week, titled the Stranger in the House.
It talks about how deregulated home care is in Massachusetts and how there are a lot of caregivers that are hired both privately, through PCAs and through agencies that are scamming and abusing the elderly.
We talk about at length (our longest episode) about this article because there is so much to digest.
There is a part 2 to this article, which has already been released in which we will read soon and give our reactions to on a different podcast episode.
The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, an association we belong to and are accredited by, has released a strong reaction to this article which is below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Home Care Alliance statement on Boston Globe article: A Stranger in the House
Boston, MA – The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts issued the following statement in response to the two-part Boston Globe article titled “A Stranger in the house” printed September 16th and 17th:
“The Home Care Alliance and its members have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to patient abuse. Over many years we have worked with the Department of Public Health, Elder Affairs and Health and Human Services to address issues of elder abuse and billing fraud. Our members take very seriously the responsibility of ensuring the safety and quality of care being delivered to their clients.
“These Boston Globe articles confusingly lump three different classes of workers together: personal care attendants employed directly by consumers in the PCA program, aides hired through a home care agency, and workers hired directly by consumers in the underground marketplace.
“While the article cites 20 cases of agency-hired workers committing abhorrent crimes in ‘recent years,’ it fails to contextualize the fact that home care agencies have employed over 75,000 workers and delivered care to more than 600,000 elders in the past five years.
“We have long advocated for the Commonwealth to develop a licensure process and we support state legislation (H.344) which we believe would enact baseline consumer protection standards for private pay home care agencies. We also advocated for recently enacted legislation to license certified home health agencies.
“In failing to adequately explain the structure of the home care system in Massachusetts, readers are left confused and scared. At a time when aging-in-place is a statewide priority, we should be working on solutions that expand access to these services and protects consumers in the setting that they prefer: home.