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How You Can Educate Legislators On Home Care Nursing

This past Wednesday, we were honored to be invited out to a patient home where PHS mom Kari was spending the morning giving Representative Matt Dean a firsthand look at just how important it is for her daughter, Danna, to be at home with them and attending school in their community.

Giving legislators the chance to see a day (or even an hour) in the life of a medically complex child at home speaks volumes and really brings light to the importance of the care for these patients – making our families an invaluable resource to home care legislation.

What we’re focused on

Our top priority during this legislative session is to increase reimbursement for home care nurses – because quite frankly, it makes sense to pay nurses for what they do, not where they do it. ™ Our home care nurses – and home care nurses across the state – have the same extensive training and deliver the same high-tech, quality care as hospital-based nurses, but are paid less – making it difficult to recruit and retain them.

“The consistency of the same nurse makes a huge difference in the care of a child,” mentioned Susan Wingert, owner and founder of PHS, said to Representative Dean on Wednesday. “Nurses of a specific patient are able to pick up on the most subtle difference in a child, and really know them and their state.”

Representative Matt Dean looks at Danna's bedroom where the majority of her equipment is set up“Our home care nurses serve as RNs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more – they encompass everything to do with her needs and her life,” added Kari.

In addition to the well-being of the child and family, this bill looks out for the well-being of funds – when there are home care nurses available, patients can go home from the hospital sooner – saving state health care dollars. This effort is good for complex children, good for Minnesota, and the right thing to do.

How to set up a meeting

Like Kari and her family, the biggest impact our families can have on this legislation is inviting their local Senator and Representative into their home to see how home care nursing impacts day to day life and meet the child in person. If an in-home meeting isn’t an option, meeting in person at a coffee shop or their office in the State Capitol are good alternatives. You can find out who your local legislators are by entering your address into this tool.

Representative Dean speaks with a parent, Bill Amberg, and Susan WingertWe would love to accompany your family to these meetings – just let us know when you have a meeting scheduled by contacting our Government Relations Counsel, Bill Amberg at or 651-789-3274. We’re also happy to help you reach out and prepare for the visit if you’re interested.

If you’re interested in more information on our efforts or other ways to get involved, please visit our legislative page or contact Bill with any additional questions. We would love to have you join us in educating legislators on why home care nurses deserve equal pay for equal care.

Originally published: March 25, 2016

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