TRENTON –The sudden attempt by Horizon NJ health, one of the largest HMO’s in New Jersey, to reduce payments for home health care services prompted action by a Senate committee on Monday when it approved legislation that would require HMO’s to justify any such cuts and get approval from the state Department of Human Services.
The hearing drew a broad contingent of groups, organizations and individuals directly involved in the increasingly-important work of providing home health care services. Their testimony focused on the negative impact the reductions could have on the availability and quality of in-home services.
“Home health care is a service that allows patients to remain in their homes and their communities, living with family and staying involved with friends and community activities,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a co-sponsor of the bill. “It can make the difference between living at home or going into a nursing home.”