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.
The Agency for Health Care Administration will enact the Medicaid Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) mandate in the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program by June 21, 2021. As required by the federal 21st Century Cures Act, Medicaid home health claims must be submitted through the SMMC health plan’s EVV vendor. The SMMC health plans will deny all claims for personal care services and home health services submitted outside of their EVV vendors. Read more
Sine Die – or the end of the legislative session – was an early afternoon celebration on Friday, April 30. Of the 3,140 bills and PCBs filed in the Florida Legislature, only 275 bills crossed the finish line to become matters for the Governor to act on. HCAOA Florida Chapter Lobbyist Jennifer Ungru with Dean Mead has compiled an end of session report of the biggest legislative and regulatory activities over the last 60 days. read more
Standardized credentials showing proof of vaccination, known as “vaccine passports,” are gaining momentum in some states as a means of returning to normalcy and allowing businesses to open fully to those who prove they have been inoculated against COVID-19. A Florida executive order now prohibits businesses operating in Florida from implementing such measures with respect to customers. On April 2, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 21-81. The executive order prohibits businesses from requiring that patrons and customers show proof of vaccination to enter or receive service from a business.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation Monday to give businesses and health care providers that have made an effort to follow COVID-19 protection guidelines some protection from lawsuits stemming from the virus. The legislation (SB 72) is the first passed by lawmakers this session to be signed by the Republican governor, and was a top priority for legislators in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. The law went into effect immediately.
The Florida Department of Health is gathering vitally important information for vaccination planning purposes. Help HCAOA help the Department by completing a quick survey by Thursday, December 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET. This information will be integral to our ongoing advocacy activities as it relates to ensuring that home care agencies receive priority status for the COVID-19 vaccine. All data will remain confidential, and will only be used in the aggregate.
Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which will amend the state constitution to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2026. Florida joins California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York to become the eighth state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years.