The Attorney General’s Office, in cooperation with the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut, launched a new Elder Justice Hotline last week to provide a one-stop-shop to help older adults in Connecticut navigate state services and seek information, assistance, and justice. Additionally, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed Senate Bill 1201, making Connecticut the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years or older.
Attendees at HCAOA’s conference in September are eligible to earn 3.5 hours of Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) continuing education credits. To receive these hours, simply request a certificate of attendance after the conference, and attendees can submit this to CSA for credit. Register by August 13 to save $150 on conference registration. Click here to register.
Wages are always a hot topic when it comes to caregiver retention and workforce development. In the spring issue of HCAOA’s magazine, The Voice, author Gabrielle Hoing, Kore Cares In-Home Care in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, discusses how she built a strong compensation plan that encourages her staff to stay at her agency. The article addresses the question: “How do we as home care leaders set expectations for staff, measure and track that these expectations are being met, and reward those for achieving our ideal results so that they get repeated?”
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed Senate Bill 1201, making Connecticut the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years or older. The new law not only requires expungement of certain existing marijuana convictions but also creates employment protections for recreational marijuana users. While these protections are more limited than those recently recognized in neighboring states New York and New Jersey, Connecticut employers should review current policies and practices to ensure they are prepared for the changes by July 1, 2022, the effective date of the new employment provisions. read more
According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice sent to Gov. Whitmer’s office last week, the department will not open a civil rights investigation into Michigan nursing homes related to the Whitmer administration’s COVID-19 policies.
In a recent opinion piece for Morning Consult, Michael Lotito, co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, explained his thoughts on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 (PRO Act), which passed the House of Representatives on March 9, 2021. The article notes that the PRO Act would make more than 50 significant changes to current law and overhaul the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 for the first time in more than 70 years. Lotito argues that the PRO Act interferes with individuals’ rights for those in states that wish to remain free of forced union membership.
It’s been a long quarantine, and HCAOA is anxious to meet with members again IN PERSON. Several State Chapters are planning in-person meetings in the coming weeks. The Chapters are eager to see members and prospective members face-to-face to discuss the important advocacy work they have been doing throughout the year, as well as other home care industry and membership updates. If you live in Florida, Arizona, Georgia, or Connecticut, register now to attend your chapter event.
Home health and personal care aides are the sixth fastest-growing occupation in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, in a recent New York Times article, reporter Paula Span reports that BLS also estimates job losses of 342,000 in the direct care workforce last year. This loss, coupled with job loss due to COVID-19, has led to a staffing shortage unlike any that has hit the industry before. HCAOA Executive Director, Vicki Hoak told the New York Times: “I’ve never heard such frustration over finding workers, and I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”
All home care agencies are invited to an in-person meeting of the HCAOA Georgia State Chapter on Friday, August 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. Click here to register.
HCAOA has an update for members providing care under the VA Community Care Network. Effective June 9, TriWest began subcontracting all VACCN Region 4 health care claims processing and payment with PGBA. However, due to various technical issues on PGBA’s end, the first post-transition payments didn’t go out from PGBA until the week of July 12. “HCAOA members may have received a number of denials for June claims, but TriWest and PGBA are currently working to resolve those issues. Other than the June discrepancies, payments appear to be flowing correctly,” reported Doug Robertson, Chair of HCAOA’s Veteran Services Council. HCAOA continues to maintain contact with TriWest leadership on the transition status.
FLORIDA: Key Lawmakers Announced as Speakers for Chapter Meeting August 12, Book Now for HCAOA Discounted Overnight Rate
The HCAOA Florida State Chapter is excited to announce that Majority Leader and HHS Vice Chair Mike Grant will be submitting a few-minute video for the event. Mr. Grant is a health care provider himself and understands the struggles the provider community goes through. Representative Dana Trabulsy (R-84) will be speaking live in person at the conference.
PHI recently released a report, Federal Policy Priorities for the Direct Care Workforce, offering detailed federal policy recommendations to strengthen the direct care workforce across eight key areas: financing, compensation, training, workforce interventions, data collection, direct care worker leadership, equity, and the public narrative. COVID-19 put the direct care workforce in the spotlight more than ever before - reinforcing the value of these workers.
MAINE: State Offers Back to Work Incentives, Bans Employers from Criminal History Inquiries on Job Applications and More
The First Special Session of the 130th Maine Legislature ended on July 19, with a flurry of votes on pending bills. Many of the newly-enacted laws, which were adopted with little debate, will significantly impact almost all employers in the state. read more
Missouri Governor Mike Parsons and the state’s legislature refused to appropriate funding for the expansion earlier this year, triggering a lawsuit from three residents arguing that the state is required to implement the expansion. read more
President Biden Celebrates 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Spotlights Home Care
Home care was once again in the forefront on the national stage this week. President Biden, Vice President Harris, and guest presenter Tyree Brown all spoke at a White House press conference on Monday, to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). During his remarks, President Biden highlighted the importance of home- and community-based services, noting that “this past year the entire nation saw just how vital our caregivers are and how critical home-based care truly is for many Americans.” He touched on the proposed $400 billion for HCBS in the American Rescue Plan that will help people with disabilities and older adults live more independently.