It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative. And there certainly is plenty for home care providers to grumble about these days.

Whether it’s the impactful Medicare cut related to the Patient-Driven Groupings Model within the home health rule; the severity of the Medicaid unwinding on older adults and people with disabilities; or the bleak staffing situation. It’s understandable if home care owners and providers are finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit.

But then something a little unexpected and exciting happened this week. The House on Tuesday night passed the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, a piece of legislation that the Home Care Association of America has been advocating hard for since the beginning of the year. The bill would help veterans receive long-term care in homes, a preferred setting for many individuals in need of care.

In a double triumph for the industry, the bill would allow veterans to receive home care up to 100% the cost of nursing home care. The bill also was rescored to $200 million, a price tag that lawmakers apparently could stomach.

The Grinch in us could say, “Well, the Senate hasn’t passed it yet. Why get your hopes up?” But passage of any kind by Congress is a victory. It certainly bodes well for Senate passage of this bill. And dare we become optimistic that this could be a sign for other key home care bills awaiting passage? These include, of course, the desired Choose Home Care Act, which would allow for an add-on to the Medicare home health benefit for 30 days following a hospital discharge, and the HCBS Relief Act

And then there is the elusive and seemingly unattainable Preserving Access to Home Health Act of 2023, which would stop the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enacting home health Medicare cuts.

Hey, ‘tis the season for wishes. Have at it.

Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected].