Last week, President Biden unveiled a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which would drive $400 billion into home and community based services. The administration said the plan would “solidify the infrastructure for the care economy by creating jobs and raising the wages and benefits for essential home care workers.” The plan would also expand access to home and community-based services under Medicaid. HCAOA Executive Director, Vicki Hoak, was among other industry leaders in her praise for the plan. “We’re very pleased to see President Biden’s support for home-based care – especially his commitment to making certain all Americans have access to affordable care and support in their own homes.
Governor Northam approved a variety of bills and amendments at the deadline for him to act on measures passed during this year’s General Assembly session. The bills will take effect on July 1. One of which included extending paid sick leave to home health care workers. The bill only applies to employers whose workers serve patients enrolled in Medicaid, which amounts to roughly 30,000 caregivers in the state. read more
House Resolution 406, sponsored by Rep John LaHood (R-Valdosta), and an initiative of the Georgia Council on Aging, passed on March 25. The measure urges the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan to recognize the importance of long-term care providers and their direct care workers. The Georgia Emergency Operations Plan is the comprehensive state emergency operations plan developed to ensure mitigation, preparedness, appropriate response, and timely recovery from natural and manmade hazards that may affect residents of Georgia.
Over the past several weeks, HCAOA has worked with state chapters to drive recognition for the direct care workers who have kept the country's most vulnerable populations safe at home throughout the pandemic. Georgia, Michigan, California and Illinois all have passed resolutions to honor these important caregivers.
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.
HCAOA state chapters in Michigan and California both held successful virtual lobby days this week. Washington held virtual lobby days a few weeks ago, and the Connecticut Chapter has its virtual lobby days coming up in April.
After removing a ban on health care terms in home care agency business names and advertising, the legislature’s General Law Committee approved House Bill 6100 yesterday. The bill requires, among other things, local and national criminal background checks of caregivers, including a search of a multistate criminal record locator by a consumer reporting agency or accredited background screening company. The Department of Consumer Protection agreed to remove the names and advertising provisions after HCAOA Connecticut and many individual HCA owners vigorously opposed them. The bill goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration. HCAOA Connecticut members can discuss this bill and other priorities affecting home care in meetings with their lawmakers at Home Care Days at the Capitol next month.
The Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) congratulates Xavier Becerra on his Senate confirmation for the position of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary.
Yesterday, HCAOA’s Legislative Committee met to discuss federal and state legislative issues impacting home care organizations across the country.
Congress passed the American Rescue Plan last week. One aspect of this bill especially important to the home care industry is the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) increase to 10 percent for states to make improvements to Medicaid home and community-based services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be holding a webinar on April 7 to talk more about this increase. CMS will send out guidelines to states in regard to the FMAP soon.
Last week, in the case of HCAOA v. Newsom, the association’s challenge to AB 2455, the judge upheld the law. This is a California law which compels disclosure of registered home care aides’ personal contact information to requesting labor unions for the express purpose of organizing.