New Hampshire home healthcare providers sue state

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A group that represents home healthcare agencies in the state of New Hampshire has filed a lawsuit against the state claiming it is not providing adequate funding of home health care.

The legal action comes at a time when the state's Department of Health and Human Services has proposed shifting nursing home residents into home- and community-based care as a way to overhaul the Medicaid program.

In a lawsuit filed April 19 in Merrimack County Superior Court the Home Care Association of New Hampshire said that insufficient Medicaid reimbursements have resulted in a scaling back of home health services and an increase in provider fees and jeopardize the care of elderly in the state.

John Stephen, New Hampshire's health commissioner, whose plan to revamp Medicaid is called GraniteCare, said he has lobbied state lawmakers to include in the proposed state budget a 4.6% increase in reimbursements for home health care in each of the next two years.