Last week, more than 50 members of the HCAOA Florida State Chapter met with Kimberly Smoak, Deputy Secretary, Division of Health Quality Assurance, Agency for Health Care Administration (pictured left), which regulates home care agencies in Florida. During the meeting, Smoak shared details about common deficiencies and was very open to members’ concerns regarding surveyors being confused about non-medical agencies versus medical home health organizations. “We were very appreciative of Ms. Smoak’s openness to emphasize the differences to her surveyors. She had not realized that there was this confusion and looks forward to working with HCAOA members to clarify the differences,” said HCAOA Executive Director, Vicki Hoak.
Florida employers can require employees to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations, submit records of such vaccination, and can implement other safety measures for their workplaces, notwithstanding national publicity suggesting that recent Florida rules, orders, and laws prohibit or discourage these public health measures. As the pandemic worsens it is important for employers to understand both the specific terms and the limits of Florida’s enactments. read more
The HCAOA Florida State Chapter meeting will be next week on August 12! Be sure to register as soon as possible to secure your spot. This all-day event has a packed agenda featuring presentations from multiple top officials in the state, including: Kimberly Smoak, Deputy Secretary, Division of Health Quality Assurance, Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA); Representative Dana Trabulsy (R-84), Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee; and House Majority Leader Mike Grant (R-75) (via video), Vice Chair, Health & Human Services Committee. Click here to register.
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.
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.
All home care agencies in Florida are invited to an in-person chapter meeting on August 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. The meeting will feature special presentations from top officials: Kimberly Smoak, Deputy Secretary, Division of Health Quality Assurance, Agency for Health Care Administration and Representative Colleen Burton (R-40), Chair, Health & Human Services Committee, Florida House of Representatives. Register here. Attendees can book their hotel room until next Tuesday, July 27! Click here to book.
All Florida agencies are invited to attend an in-person Chapter meeting on Thursday, August 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Orlando. This jam-packed meeting agenda features presentations by a variety of top officials from both the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Chair of the Florida House Health & Human Services Committee. There will also be ample opportunities for members to network and hear updates about HCAOA advocacy and membership news.
HCAOA’s state chapters continue to monitor states’ legislative and regulatory actions. Here’s a quick listing of the most recent home care happenings around the country.
HCAOA members in Florida won’t want to miss the first in-person chapter meeting in over a year. Taking place on August 12 in Orlando, this event will include federal and state updates as well as presentations on home care recruitment trends, and hot issues in labor law. A representative from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will also be there to provide updates on regulation changes. Save the date!
HCAOA State Chapters Taking Action, Offering Suggestions to State Medicaid Directors on FMAP for HCBS
Several of HCAOA’s State Chapters took action this week, sending letters to their State Medicaid Directors to offer suggestions about how to use the available 10% FMAP increase for Medicaid home and community-based services. CMS recently provided guidance to states about how they can use the federal funds to supplement, not supplant, existing state funds for Medicaid effective April 1, 2021. In the letter, HCAOA Chapters state the industry’s biggest concern and primary suggestion is use the funds to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for personal care services and private duty nursing so agencies can adequately recruit and retain essential workers to provide critical care at home to patients and clients
The letter offers several other suggestions to enhance, expand, or strengthen Medicaid HCBS, including hazard pay, overtime pay, and shift differential pay for home care workers, new or additional Medicaid HCBS services especially during the pandemic, and support for family caregivers. To date, the Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, South Carolina and Connecticut Chapters have sent letters, with others to follow.
You can read one of the full letters here.