Despite numerous grass roots contacts of lawmakers by HCAOA Connecticut Chapter members, a coalition of agencies and organizations led by HCAOA Connecticut and strong opposition from some lawmakers, the General Assembly approved a ban on nonsolicitation agreements in home care in the recently concluded legislative session.
House Bill 5506 prohibits contracts between a homemaker-companion agency or home health agency and a client from including a “no-hire” clause that, should the client directly hire an agency employee, imposes a financial penalty; assesses any charges or fees, including legal fees; or contains any language that can create grounds for a breach of contract assertion or a claim for damages or injunctive relief. It expressly deems these clauses against public policy and void.
The measure’s main proponent, a powerful committee chairman, cited aggressive enforcement of the agreements in the marketplace by a large home care provider, and what she implied were exorbitant fines that harm senior clients. The provision, adopted as part of the budget implementer bill, is effective upon the Governor’s approval on May 9. Thus, there can be no penalty if a client directly hires an agency’s caregiver.
HCAOA Connecticut is informing members about the new law, assessing its impact and gathering information, including from the Department of Consumer Protection such as when enforcement of the new provision will begin, to determine next steps.
Following strong advocacy by its DSS Medicaid committee,
HCAOA Connecticut, helped achieve an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates. New, permanent, and retroactive rate increases will provide much needed relief to Medicaid home care providers.
Additional legislation adopted includes a study of HCA issues (Senate Bill 262), which HCAOA Connecticut supported, and a community ombudsman program for home care issues (Senate Bill 9). The Chapter successfully advocated for the chair of the chapter to be designated as a member of the task force study. Other initiatives, including a state income tax deduction for the costs of home care and measures to directly address the caregiver shortage, advanced but didn’t receive final legislative approval
In 2019, Connecticut enacted the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, which entitles eligible employees who reside in the state to paid family leave and amended the previously existing Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA).
Employers have long awaited guidance on the State’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, and the good news is—we are almost there. On March 22, 2022, the Connecticut Department of Labor issued its final proposed amended CT FMLA regulations, which make several amendments to previously existing regulations. The new provisions relate to the job-protected leave aspect of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. This article highlights key changes about which employers should be aware. Learn More
Last week, more than 60 members of the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter met for a networking and education event, including a presentation by FordHarrison Attorney Sami Asaad on recent labor and employment laws affecting home care agencies such as salary range disclosure, wage history and age disclosure bans, and paid family and medical leave.
Eric Reinarman, Esq., Vice President of Government Relations for HCAOA, provided an update on advocacy and the status of federal legislation, including the President’s 2023 budget proposal, workforce training and immigration reform.
Marlene Chickerella, managing partner of B&M Homemaking in West Haven and chair of the Chapter’s DSS Medicaid Committee, discussed the status of Medicaid reimbursement and the committee’s efforts in advocating successfully for an increase in rates for home care providers.
HCAOA Connecticut lobbyist Matthew Hallisey discussed the status of the Chapter’s legislative and public policy priorities and how members can participate in the Chapter’s advocacy program. With only a couple of weeks remaining in the regular legislative session (it adjourns Wednesday, May 4), he urged attendees to contact their legislators directly or through the HCAOA legislative alert and urge them to oppose House Bill 5332. The bill would ban nonsolicitation agreements in home care.
The program was sponsored by Sensi.ai, an in-home virtual care-agent.
The next meeting for the CT Chapter is Wednesday, May 18 at 12 p.m. ET via Zoom for a discussion of making the Medicaid program more sustainable featuring Department of Social Services officials. Click here for details.
Next Wednesday, April 20, the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter will meet in-person to discuss issues that impact agencies in YOUR state.
You need to attend the in-person meeting so hear about:
The agenda includes updates from:
Register now to attend on Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel. The cost is $40 for members and $80 for non-members.
New issues, challenges, and opportunities arise daily that impact home care agencies in Connecticut, and that’s why you need to attend the in-person meeting April 20.
Your HCAOA team in Washington, DC and on the ground in Connecticut never stops working on your behalf. For instance:
The agenda includes the following updates:
Click here to register and attend the meeting Wednesday, April 20 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel. The cost is $40 for members and $80 for non-members.
HCAOA state chapters are focused on improving access to and the delivery of home care throughout the country. Whether it’s expanding the scope of services that home care aides in Illinois can provide, or advocating for auto accident victims in Michigan, or developing recommendations for Ohio’s new home care license law, or fighting against a bill that would prohibit non-solicitation clauses in Connecticut, HCAOA’s chapters have been doing great work on behalf of all members! Here are some highlights…
After many hours spent advocating by HCAOA Connecticut Chapter members for higher, more equitable Medicaid reimbursement rates, the Department of Social Services has at long last updated the rates for several service providers, including Connecticut Home Care and Personal Care Assistant. Last week, the Department said it is continuing to work through the approval process for provider rate increases with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and its approval is anticipated very soon.
HCAOA’s state chapters have hit the ground running in 2022! We’ve just added a new round of chapter meetings to our events calendar, so now is the time to jump in.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has drafted advertising guidelines that would regulate services home care agencies can offer. Among other things, the document, “Advertising Guidelines: Homemaker Companion Agencies; Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection,” prohibits certain memory-related services that agencies may advertise and caregivers may provide to persons suffering from cognitive disorders.
Last Thursday, the Connecticut Legislature’s Appropriations and Human Services committees approved the submission of federal Medicaid applications to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for emergency preparedness home and community-based services waiver amendments and Medicaid disaster relief State Plan Amendment, to enable the state to provide rate increases to providers and new services to address gaps in current HCBS continuum of supports.
Effective January 1, a new Connecticut state law now require home care agencies to conduct a local and national criminal background check of prospective employees. Also, under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, benefit payments begin for approved paid leave benefit applications.
On Monday, as the state experienced an Omicron variant-driven surge in coronavirus cases to a positivity rate of almost 11%, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced plans to distribute three million COVID-19 rapid tests and six million N95 masks in an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19 during the heavy travel and holiday season.
On Monday at the state Capitol building in Hartford, Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (East Lyme), hosted a press conference calling for immediate action to support HCBS providers, workers and vulnerable individuals in home care settings. HCAOA Connecticut Chapter members Jonah Francis, President of Pansy Homecare Service in West Hartford (pictured), and Mario D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire, both spoke in support of the pending Medicaid rate increase.