Last week, the Connecticut Department of Public Health began issuing civil penalties to long-term care facilities subject to Executive Order 13F, which mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals who work in the facilities, the agency announced. Long-term care facilities subject to the EO include nursing homes, assisted living services agencies, managed residential communities, residential care homes, chronic disease hospitals, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. “These vaccine mandates are in place to protect not only the patients and residents in long-term care but to ensure the health and safety of staff and their families and co-workers,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD.
The Connecticut legislature, at the recent call of Governor Ned Lamont, met in special session this week to extend the Governor’s emergency authority through February 15, 2022. This was the sixth extension of the Governor’s emergency powers since March 2020, according to the Hartford Courant. Most of the hundreds of executive orders issued by the Governor since then have expired but about a dozen remain, including one requiring vaccinations for workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Last Tuesday, more than 70 home care providers gathered in Rocky Hill for the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter meeting. During the event state Consumer Protection Department officials discussed homemaker-companion registration, the investigations and audit process, and advertising requirements. Commissioner Michelle Seagull discussed the need for providers to obtain a license from the Department of Public Health if they are offering any healthcare-related services and noted recent changes to background check requirements effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Yesterday, the HCAOA Connecticut State Chapter held a successful networking lunch meeting. Chapter leaders also met with officials from the Department of Consumer Protection, including Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, Department of Consumer Protection.
Mark McGoldrick, Chair of the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter and owner of Comfort Keepers, and Matthew Hallisey, lobbyist for HCAOA, presented the Chapter's 2020 Outstanding Leadership Award to state Rep. Gale L. Mastrofrancesco (80th Dist., Wolcott), last Thursday at the state Capitol in Hartford. Rep. Mastrofrancesco said she was "so proud" to receive the award as Mr. McGoldrick noted her experience in and support for the home care industry. She was one of two state legislators recognized last year by the Chapter in an online program for her outstanding service and dedication in support of the home care industry in Connecticut. The presentation of the award was delayed due to the pandemic.
Several state agency officials presented details of the investment plan for proposed uses of the home and community-based services enhanced match, including provider rate increases, to the Aging, Human Services and Appropriations committees last week. Under the plan, HCBS waiver providers will receive a one-time estimated 5% stabilization payment to be paid in the third (current) quarter, which the OPM Secretary said can be used for investments in the workforce (retention bonuses or new hires); 1.7% across-the-board rate increase, authorized under the new state budget, effective July 1, 2021; and supplemental rate funding.
CONNECTICUT: Featured Speakers from Department of Consumer Protection to Discuss Audit Process & Advertising Claims
Home care agencies are invited to a luncheon program to connect with key state officials in the Department of Consumer Protection. Featured speakers include Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, Department of Consumer Protection who will present: Registration of Home Care Agencies and Enforcement of Chapter 400o.
At long last, HCAOA Connecticut's advocacy efforts and members' grassroots support have paid dividends in the form of Medicaid waiver rate increases issued by the Department of Social Services for HCBS. HCBS waiver providers will receive a one-time estimated 5% stabilization payment to be paid in the 3rd (current) quarter; 1.7% across-the-board rate increase, authorized under the new state budget, effective Jul. 1, 2021; and supplemental rate funding (see reinvestment plan for details).
The Department of Social Services issued home health services rate increases, effective August 1, 2021, of 6% for home health aides, 31.7% for pediatric complex care skilled nursing service, and 3.5% for all other home health services except continuous skilled nursing. DSS has not yet issued rate increases for homemaker-companion services but the department and Office of Policy and Management are well aware of HCAOA Connecticut's concerns about minimum wage increases effective August 1.
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.
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
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.
More than 65 HCAOA Connecticut members and nonmembers gathered last Wednesday at Luce Restaurant in Middletown, CT, for a chapter meeting and update on what is happening in Washington, D.C.