Sine Die – or the end of the legislative session – was an early afternoon celebration on Friday, April 30. Of the 3,140 bills and PCBs filed in the Florida Legislature, only 275 bills crossed the finish line to become matters for the Governor to act on. HCAOA Florida Chapter Lobbyist Jennifer Ungru with Dean Mead has compiled an end of session report of the biggest legislative and regulatory activities over the last 60 days. read more
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced specific metrics on Thursday tying the percentage of Michigan residents who receive the COVID-19 vaccine to a phased approach of lifting capacity and gathering limits and restrictions on everything from working at home requirements to indoor sports stadiums, funeral homes, bars, restaurants, and retailers.
According to a new study from The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the majority of U.S. adults would prefer to receive long-term care in their own homes instead of moving into a nursing facility or senior living community. But while nearly everyone wants to age in place, few actually have a plan to pay for in-home care services as they grow older.
Home care agency owners are well aware that one of the biggest issues in home care today is a shortage of caregivers - coupled with a rapidly aging population, this leads us to a major supply and demand issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home care aides and personal care aides are the sixth fastest growing jobs. For a recent story in HCAOA’s magazine, The Voice, we spoke with several newer agencies that opened in the past few years and even during the COVID pandemic, to explore this impending crisis and what efforts home care agencies across the country are making to grow their workforce to meet the growing demand. Check out this panel interview article here. Or you can read the entire magazine here.
A joint meeting of the Legislative and Chapter Committees is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, from 2-4 p.m. at the Hilton Orlando Hotel, the day before the Annual Leadership Conference begins. According to HCAOA Executive Director Vicki Hoak, this joint meeting will focus on the critical role of advocacy at both the state and national level. “Our state chapters have done a wonderful job throughout the pandemic, and we’re looking forward to sharing best practices of successful advocacy efforts, membership recruitment practices and effective chapter operations,” said Hoak.
Last Wednesday, President Biden delivered his first joint address before Congress. He directly noted the importance of seniors receiving care in their own homes, and stated that regardless of political party, a concern for countless Americans is taking care of elderly loved ones. Biden also reminded us that: “Two million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn’t get the care they need for their family… and 800,000 families are on a Medicaid waiting list right now to get home care for their aging parent or loved one with a disability.”
Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, announced a new program to cover the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. Since providers cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees, this new program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), addresses an outstanding compensation need for providers on the front lines vaccinating underinsured patients.
In an effort to prevent the occupational exposure to an airborne infectious disease, the New York legislature has passed the aptly named New York Health and Essential Rights Act, or NY HERO Act, which amends the New York Labor Law (NYLL) by adding two new sections. This bill has been delivered to Governor Cuomo’s desk and he is expected to sign it into law. Unlike other states, New York does not have robust and longstanding state occupational safety and health laws, standards and mechanisms. This bill is therefore notable because it represents one of the rare times that New York State has passed laws setting minimum safety standards that apply to the private sector. read more
A comprehensive business survey, conducted by Arizona State University's College of Health Solutions with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, finds that nearly 9 out of 10 employers in the United States and UK plan to encourage or require vaccination for employees and nearly 7 out of 10 are currently performing COVID-19testing for their employees. The results from 1,339 employers (60 of which were in the category of “healthcare, hospitals and clinics”), focusing on mid to large size employers who completed this survey during the month of March, are available in a new comprehensive report, Back to the Workplace: Are we there yet? Key Insights from Employers One Year Into the Pandemic.