Late last month, the Connecticut Department of Social Services proposed a rate increase designed to offset the increase in the state’s minimum hourly wage in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE). According to a Notice of Proposed Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA), DSS submitted the SPA to CMS, effective July 1, 2022, to increase the rates by 5.2% for various specified codes within the state plan home and community-based services option under section 1915(i) of the Social Security Act portion of CHCPE. The purpose of the SPA is to reflect that providers of specified section 1915(i) CHCPE services have increased costs in paying higher wages to certain staff to comply with the July 1, 2022, increase in the state’s minimum wage to $14 per hour. Provider fee schedules are accessible and can be downloaded via DSS’s Connecticut Medical Assistance Program homepage.
HCAOA member agency Pansy Homecare and CEO Vicki Hoak were featured in the Hartford Business Journal.
As many homecare service companies struggle to retain employees due to low wages and job stresses, West Hartford-based Pansy Homecare Service LLC is trying to buck that trend by paying its workers more and fostering an environment of inclusiveness. And, the nine-year-old business — operated by the mother and son team of Pansy and Jonah Francis — is growing.
Earlier this month, Connecticut announced the launch of ReEmployCT, the state’s new unemployment tax and benefits system. Replacing a 40-year-old unemployment system, ReEmployCT serves approximately 115,000 businesses in Connecticut that pay into the Unemployment Trust Fund, as well as unemployed workers who are eligible for benefits.
Late last month, the Connecticut Department of Social Services proposed a rate increase designed to offset the increase in the state’s minimum hourly wage in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE). According to a Notice of Proposed Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA), DSS submitted the SPA to CMS, effective July 1, 2022, to increase the rates by 5.2% for various specified codes within the state plan home and community-based services option under section 1915(i) of the Social Security Act portion of CHCPE.
Connecticut Chapter Holds Lunch & Learn Webinar to Discuss Practical Considerations about ‘No-Hire’ Clauses
Last Thursday, Sami Asaad, partner at FordHarrison, LLP in Hartford and chair of its Home Healthcare Practice Group, presented a Lunch and Learn webinar program for the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter to discuss practical considerations in light of the legislature’s recent ban on non-hire agreements in home care.
Mark McGoldrick, HCAOA Connecticut Chapter Chair, has been appointed to serve on a task force to study home care issues. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed SB 262 last month to establish the task force, which will present a report on its findings and recommendations to the legislature by January 1, 2023.
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.
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.