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State Ensuring Quality of Care During Home Health Organization Client Transfers

Agencies within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) are working to ensure the smooth transition of care for clients of Homefront Health Care to a new home health organization without any interruptions in services after Homefront announced plans to close effective today, August 11, 2017.

Nursing Placement, a Pawtucket-based home health organization, has committed to take on all of Homefront's approximately 450 former clients and all their employees. All clients will continue to receive the same services that they had been receiving from Homefront Health Care, and all employees will continue to be paid during the transition. Clients began receiving calls today to inform them that, although their caregiver's employer will be changing, they will still be visited by the same individual caregivers.

"Our absolute number one priority is the health and safety of Homefront Health Care's former clients," said Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. "Immediately after being informed of Homefront's plans, we began developing a strategy for client transfers to ensure that people, many of whom have serious health needs, continued to receive their services and care without interruption. This tremendous collaboration across the state demonstrates how Rhode Islanders come together and take action to keep each other healthy and safe."

Other agencies and organizations involved in coordinating the client transfers include the State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, Medicaid, and commercial insurers.

Theodore Orson of the law firm Orson and Brusini was appointed by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein to oversee the special mastership of Homefront Health Care. When Orson learned that Homefront would not have sufficient funds to make payroll, ceasing Homefront's operation appeared necessary to Orson and the Superior Court. That was before Nursing Placement agreed to take over Homefront's patient care, hire its employees, and advance its payroll.

"I am thrilled and amazed that Nursing Placement has agreed to take over all of the patient care and to hire all of Homefront's employees," Orson said. "This is a perfect example of a Rhode Island business stepping to the plate to address an urgent public health need and to make certain that Rhode Island nurses, therapists, and CNAs retain their jobs."

Homefront had six locations. Its employees, including nurses, therapists, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), homemakers, made more than 150,000 home care visits each year throughout Rhode Island. Nursing Placement has agreed to maintain Homefront's operation financially, including paying employees, until the transfer is complete.

Homecare workers received their second raise in two years through the recently enacted FY18 budget. These investments represent the administration's continued commitment to investing in home and community-based care.

Clients with questions can contact their case manager, or reach out to Homefront at 401-383-9696. They can contact the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 401-785-3340.

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