Dec 1, 2015 6:52 PM
CONCORD - An effort is underway to address a home-based pediatric nursing shortage that's straining New Hampshire families.
Nursing agencies tell NH1 News there's an increase in job openings because nursing jobs in hospitals have higher pay rates and steady hours, while home-based care requires Medicaid reimbursement that hasn't increased in several budget cycles.
The burden of the shortage is falling on families, who have been guaranteed hours of in-home nursing care but are struggling to find qualified nurses to fill those hours.
Heather Donnell, of Rochester, is a mother of a a young boy who has several health challenges and recently underwent a tracheotomy.
Donnell has had to quit her career to become a full-time caregiver for her son. She's taught herself how to perform life saving measures and said it's 'normal' for her to revive him after he loses oxygen and turns blue. Lucas has been approved under Medicaid for 80 hours of home care.
"We have not had nursing for 18 weeks; we've had nothing covered," Donnell said.
Audrey Gerkin's daughter Lexi also needs 24-hour-a-day care.
"We're approved for 60 hours right now and we're receiving zero hours of services," Gerkin said.
Gerkin is from from Rochester and said without outside assistance, she's struggling to care for the family as a whole. The Donnells and Gerkins are considering placing their children in residential care in Keene, the nearest appropriate facility which would be about a two hour drive each way.
Both families are hoping a proposed bill that will be discussed at an upcoming Governor's Commission meeting will highlight the need for a solution.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, would launch a study into the problem.
"We don't want them in hospitals for extended stays," Woodburn said. "We think it's most important to understand that every kid just wants to fit in and be a kid and in the home environment is much better than any other type of environment."
According to the Department of Health and Human services, Medicaid reimbursement for in-home nurses has not seen an increase in six to seven years.
"Rates are established in the budget, which is set by the Legislature. Since the recession, the need for services in the State has significantly increased, further straining the budget," said HHS Director of Communications Jake Leon.
The Governor's Commission Meeting will take place in Concord Thursday December 10th from 1-4 p.m.
3 hours 11 minutes agoPelham police release dash cam video of a man wielding a knife in the middle of a road near a school. (More)
3 hours 16 minutes agoAccording to the NWS the snow will begin Friday morning across southwestern New Hampshire and move northeastward, covering the Granite State by midday. (More)
5 hours 36 minutes agoA Republican supported state Senate bill that would tighten New Hampshire’s voting laws faces a crucial test on Thursday. (More)
16 hours 5 minutes agoA New Jersey couple who claim they were scared away from their home by creepy letters they received from 'The Watcher' says another letter...
19 hours 54 minutes agoPresident Donald Trump announced that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take on a leading advisory role on a soon to be formed commission...
22 hours 53 minutes agoA Barrington man died after his car crossed over the center line, striking an oncoming vehicle on Route 16. (More)
1 day 53 minutes agoA man lived to see another day, and it's all thanks to a few officers at the Manchester Police Department. (More)
Mar 29, 2017 8:42 AMThe masked man allegedly went behind the counter, stuffed an undetermined amount of cash into a paper McDonald's bag and pushed the employee to...
Mar 28, 2017 4:37 PMNeighbors who live near the scene of a homicide in Manchester say they're 'unnerved' that something that serious happened so close to home. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 7:29 AMA Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty in the fentanyl overdose death of a 17-year-old girl at a New Hampshire motel is scheduled to be...
Mar 27, 2017 2:38 PMA Manchester woman allegedly threatened to poop on an officer's leg following a domestic assault incident. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 11:58 AMSupporters of convicted murderer Pam Smart launched a Twitterstorm to support her release after she coerced her teenage lover into killing her husband. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 2:48 PMThe New Hampshire Attorney General announced an ongoing investigation into the untimely death of an adult man. (More)
Mar 28, 2017 9:23 AMThe Manchester Police Department was on scene of an 'untimely death' Tuesday morning. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 10:20 PMA Florida woman was charged after crossing the yellow line and colliding with another vehicle head-on in Rochester. (More)
Mar 27, 2017 1:02 PMThe Manchester Police Department awarded a man - who recently evicted the tenants from his Derry home following a shooting - officer of the...
Mar 27, 2017 10:34 AMA local carpentry company was slapped with a fine earlier this month by OSHA as they investigate a truss collapse that occurred last year...
Mar 27, 2017 9:55 PMA snowmobiler was found dead on a trail Monday from an apparent collision with a tree after failing to return home Sunday night. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 9:35 PMPolice said a sex offender kicked down a door and then assaulted a man. He is charged with burglary, simple assault and possession of...
Mar 27, 2017 9:00 AMThe advisory warns of mixed snow, sleet, freezing rain for central and northern areas today. A brief period of freezing rain will occur closer...
Mar 25, 2017 7:52 PMA South Carolina man who wrapped electrical tape around a dog's muzzle to stop her from barking has been sentenced to five years in...
Mar 26, 2017 5:59 PMOfficials transported a young child to a local hospital with minor injuries after they allegedly ran into a moving car. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 10:40 AMA Hooksett man faces charges after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend twice and choked her, impeding her breathing. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 12:29 PMChichester Fire and Rescue extinguished a heavy kitchen fire, leading to the death of household pets. (More)
Mar 26, 2017 11:43 AMPolice allegedly found crack cocaine and heroin on a man wanted on an arrest warrant. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 9:34 AMA Tilton felon is facing drug and gun charges after police allegedly saw him slumped over the wheel of his car Saturday around 1...
Mar 24, 2017 5:19 PMWhile executing a search warrant, police seized what is believed to be psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and butane honey oil. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 4:30 PMPolice arrested a woman after she left her 2-year-old in her running vehicle while she shopped at Target Saturday. (More)
Mar 25, 2017 2:54 PMThe newly appointed deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee says the Democratic party can't spend all of its energy focusing on Republican President...
Mar 24, 2017 9:33 AMNew Hampshire State Police arrested to wanted fugitives after stopping a van full of people who entered the United States illegally. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:59 PMTwo influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass their chamber. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 3:51 PMSnow fell faster than expected today, accumulating a few inches in parts of central and northern New Hampshire through late-afternoon. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 12:39 PMA woman is facing drug charges after being found in possession of heroin during a parole check-in. She was arrested for possession of a...
Mar 23, 2017 4:16 PMState Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 4:59 PMA Stafford County corrections officer allegedly tried bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the jail was supposed to get deployed. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 11:09 AMIt's the first Friday of spring, but Granite Staters will have some snow to deal with. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:02 AMThe effort to crack down on drug-related crimes - known NH-wide as Operation Granite Hammer - led to the arrests of 2 suspected heroin...
Mar 23, 2017 3:02 PMA Keene man was indicted for allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PMDemocrats filed a complaint with the ethics committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 5:27 PMNicole Guida, owner of Chic & Unique, a boutique shop located in Littleton, is requesting a jury trial against a former customer who caused...
Mar 22, 2017 6:02 PMA Strafford County corrections officer allegedly attempted to bring heroin into the jail before being detained by police. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AMChelsea Blais plead not guilty to abusing children in her care at the Alpha Bits Learning Center, where police say she force fed and...
Mar 22, 2017 10:15 AMNYPD seized over $4.1 million and over three kilograms (6 pounds) of heroin, unraveling a multi-state drug ring — involving New England. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 4:06 PMNew Hampshire is often in the 'weather battle zone' this time of year, which isn't a good thing if you are looking for spring...
Mar 22, 2017 10:45 AMNew Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray. The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president...
Mar 22, 2017 7:33 AMThe National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 10:29 PMA report released on Tuesday by the state agency that licenses childcare centers revealed multiple incidents of verbal and physical abuse committed by a...
Mar 21, 2017 6:40 PMA mother and her friend who injected her with heroin while she was in labor in September 2016 will not be facing felony charges...
Mar 21, 2017 4:09 PMA 74-year-old Mass. man living in public housing for the elderly faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found cocaine valued at about...
Thursday, TBD - NH Senate debates bill to tighten voting laws
Thursday, 10 a.m. - Senate Intelligence hearing on alleged interference by Russia interference in U.S. elections
Thursday, 1:30 p.m. - Daily briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Friday, 10 a.m. - Latest storm update with Meteorologist Ryan Breton