The fourth edition in a series of reports, “Advancing Action: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Support for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities and Family Caregivers” was released last month providing a compilation of state data and analysis that evaluates state’s performance on providing long term services and supports. The report evaluates affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and care, support for family caregivers and effective transitions.
A New Insurance Option for HCAOA Members
As an HCAOA member, you now have access to insurance coverage from Lockton Affinity, a leader in the home care insurance industry. Lockton Affinity’s affordable insurance package combines the policies you need, including General Liability + Professional Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Hired and Non-Owned Auto and Theft coverage.
Curious what coverage will look like for your business? Complete a quick price indication that takes less than five minutes to complete.
Dell’s Black Friday Sneak Peek
HCAOA members already receive big discounts on Dell products. Now, Dell is offering the top tech electronics at the lowest prices of 2020 during their Black Friday Sneak Peek sale. Plus, HCAOA members save an additional 5% through November 2. Visit www.Dell.com/HCAOA to access these savings or call 800-757-8442 to chat with a Small Business Advisor about how to secure your business today.
Last week, the HCAOA Board of Directors spent two afternoons discussing the Association’s strategic plan, which was developed this past January for 2020-2023.
Last week, health officials redefined what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters. For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. The CDC has now changed that to a total of 15 minutes or more - so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count. The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks. Click here for more information.
A reminder that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is accepting applications for the most recent phase of Provider Relief Funding (PRF). Providers who have already received relief funds, as well as previously ineligible providers, are now eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is next Friday, Nov. 6. Click here for details.
While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of us as individuals AND as an industry, it has given home care an opportunity to demonstrate how we keep people safe at home. Throughout the year, HCAOA has heard wonderful stories of caregivers going above and beyond and agencies stepping up to recognize the dedication of their employees. Tell us your agency’s “COVID Caring” story, and you could be featured in the next issue of HCAOA’s quarterly magazine, The Voice. Email email@example.com by Monday, Nov. 9 with a few sentences about a unique challenge you faced and how your agency rose to meet the challenge.
Recently, the Veteran’s Administration issued a new fee schedule for the Community Care program. These new fees are effective October 1, 2020.
On a related note, HCAOA is meeting with Dr. Mark Upton, Deputy Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Community Care, to discuss challenges home care providers are experiencing in providing home care to our veterans. Network access, fee schedule and referrals will be the primary focus of this initial discussion. A report on the meeting will be included in next week’s newsletter.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the coronavirus public health emergency. Since the beginning of the pandemic, CMS has added more than 135 services to the Medicare telehealth services list – such as emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services.
HCAOA is partnering with Age Safe America to offer members a discount on the Senior Home Safety Specialist certification, which empowers home care professionals with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 5-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only designation of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry.
On Monday, the GAO (General Accounting Office) issued a report to Congress on the impact of the 2015 Home Care Rule, which extended Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime protections to more home care workers. This report updates the GAO’s initial report in 2014, which reported that key stakeholders had differing perspectives on the potential impact of the Home Care Rule. The new report assesses the implementation and effects of the Home Care Rule using available data and interviews with various stakeholders, including HCAOA members, who were interviewed earlier this year.
Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription coverage began last week on October 15 and ends on December 7. When it’s over, the plans will be in place for a full calendar year. Remind your clients to do their research and enroll now. Many states and local senior resources offer assistance, and there are free tools on the CMS website to help seniors compare plans.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the public comment period for the RFI: Recommended Measure Set for Medicaid-Funded Home and Community-Based Services to November 18. The RFI seeks feedback on potential benefits of and challenges that could result from a nationally available set of recommended quality measures for voluntary use by states, managed care organizations, and other entities engaged in the administration and/or delivery of Medicaid-funded home and community-based services. HCAOA’s Data and Research Committee will be submitting comments on the proposal with the Medicaid Partnership for Home-Based Care.
Connecticut: Chapter Continues Advocacy for Medicaid Rate Increase
The HCAOA Connecticut State Chapter continues to advocate for an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for home care providers. In a major disappointment, the Department of Social Services recently posted on its website a modest increase in reimbursement and then withdrew it, purportedly to await the results of its provider rate cost survey and study. Joe Markley of Companions & Homemakers has led the advocacy efforts of the Chapter’s DSS Medicaid committee, forming a coalition of organizations supporting an increase, drafting a letter to the Governor in support and lobbying state officials.
WeShield has disinfecting wipes in stock and READY TO SHIP immediately from U.S. warehouses. Available stock includes Oxivir TB Wipes (EPA reg: 70627-56), with a one-minute kill time. Active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide.
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Quality training, fair compensation, quality supervision and support, respect and recognition, and real opportunity are the keys to growing the direct care workforce in the coming years as demand for home-based care soars, according to a report released last week by PHI. The report examines how poor job quality has defined the direct care job for decades, impacting workers, long-term care employers, consumers, and the economy. This report also examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on this workforce, which amplified both the visibility of this sector and its many challenges.
This report is the fourth installment in a year-long series of reports, which will culminate in a comprehensive final report in January 2021, examining the importance and impact of the direct care workforce.