AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
May the Medicare Transitional Care Act (HR 2773/S 1295) pass (Policy and Politics, October). Home health care nurses have been trying to provide such care for many years. We've recognized the need for it but have been frustrated by the provisions of Medicare's home health benefit. Restrictive criteria for a home health visit and poor reimbursement to Medicare patients for fewer than four visits have discouraged this kind of transitional care.
Almost every patient can benefit from a visit or two from a nurse who ensures a safe transition from hospital to home. Medications need to be reconciled and reviewed, the patient's aftercare needs to be adjusted to her or his home environment and lifestyle, and patient education needs to be reviewed in the optimum learning environment—the home.
Home health care nurses have what it takes to provide this care.
Mary Curry Narayan, MSN, RN, HHCNS-BC