LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — As lawmakers returned to Lansing Wednesday, they were meet with big crowds demanding action to fix what they say was broken during auto no-fault reform in 2019.
Advocates, caregivers and patients who require long-term and in-home health care want a provision in the reforms that reduced payment for those services changed. Caregivers say that they are forced to provide services for as much as $8 per hour less than before the new rates went into effect last year.
In the just more than 6 months since the change, the advocates say, many caregivers have left business and many others may follow.
“People are losing care, people are dying and there’s going to be a mass surge of clients to already overrun hospital systems if something isn’t done to fix it,” Brandon Monroe of First Light Home Care said. “They’re stripping people’s care by underfunding and under-reimbursing services that don’t allow companies like ours to continue to provide those great services and keep them out of the hospital.”
A bill that would revert those reimbursements to the pre-reform rates is circulating in Lansing and at least one proponent believes enough lawmakers are on board to pass it. It is unclear when that legislation may be acted on.
According to some caregivers, time is short before more long-term patients lose their care and more companies go out of business.