ACTION ALERT: HCAOA urges all members to send a message to their lawmakers in Washington, D.C. asking them to advocate for an extension of the employer tax credit which helps cover costs related to COVID-19 sick leave for employees. Currently, home care providers and other employers may receive tax credits for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave provided to employees who are unable to work due to COVID-related issues as listed under the several reasons listed in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These issues can include taking care of the employee's own health needs or caring for family members.
HCAOA partner Littler Mendelson has compiled a Q&A document featuring the most pressing questions employers have regarding President Biden’s latest vaccine mandates and the latest OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard
The HCAOA Michigan Chapter will host a Legislative Day event at the State Capital in Lansing for important updates on issues impacting home care. This day will include meetings with lawmakers and presentations from state leaders.
CALIFORNIA: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Split Decision Partially Upholding AB 51 Anti-Arbitration Law
On September 15, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split decision partially upholding California’s AB 51, the Anti-Arbitration Law. The Court struck down the criminal penalties but said the law’s restrictions on entering into arbitration waivers of state law claims could be enforced, despite clear Supreme Court authority to the contrary and rulings in other circuits. There is a strong dissenting opinion and this case is likely going to go to the next level. HCAOA will keep members in California updated on this case.
A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), Bipartisan Solutions to Improve the Availability of Long-term Care, highlights the need for more easily accessible in-home care services for seniors. The report notes the common challenges associated with accessing long-term services and supports, such as the growing cost of care.
The House Ways and Means Committee has released updated details about proposed tax changes to be incorporated in the budget reconciliation bill, and HCAOA is happy to share that a tax credit for family caregivers - known as the Credit for Caregiving Act as separate legislation - is included in the bill. This credit provides a non-refundable credit, up to $4,000, equal to 50 percent of the qualified expenses paid or incurred by a qualified care recipient during the taxable year through 2025.
HCAOA partnered this week with the Better Medicare Alliance and more than 50 senior health organizations to send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer to thank Congress for taking steps to protect Medicare Advantage beneficiaries when adding new benefits, such as dental, vision and hearing benefits, and encouraging lawmakers to keep this language in the final bill.
Last week, President Biden announced vaccine mandates for workers in “most health care settings” that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. This includes hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies. HCAOA continues to monitor this development and those of various states to determine the impact on home care agencies providing personal care.
HCAOA is also pleased to report that the House Energy and Commerce Committee included language on private duty shift nursing in the budget reconciliation draft. “HCAOA’s Private Duty Coalition has been working hard to ensure that this highly specialized care provided to medically fragile children at home is available to those who need it,” said HCAOA Executive Director Vicki Hoak. “We will continue to monitor the process of the bill, and continue to advocate for PDN as necessary.”
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission issued long-awaited initial rules implementing the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, which Governor Murphy signed on February 22, 2021. The Act legalizes the use of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and creates many obstacles for employers seeking to maintain a drug-free workplace. The new rules deal almost exclusively with the provisions governing the recreational cannabis market, leaving many employer questions unanswered.