HCAOA Legislative Committee Discusses Federal Updates & State Issues Such as New Florida PDN Requirement
Last week, HCAOA’s Legislative Committee met to discuss federal updates with Lobbyist Patrick Cooney and to share state advocacy efforts with lobbyists and state chapter leaders.
Cooney provided an update on President Biden’s Human Infrastructure plan, cautioning that it appears compromises are in the works to reduce the initial price tag of $3.5 trillion down to less than $2 trillion for social safety net expansions. This reduction seems to be the only way the Democrats can get all their members on board in supporting the plan that calls for mandatory Pre-K, increases child care tax credits, and hopefully expands home care. Cooney said that it looks like the Medicaid HCBS expansion will be reduced from $400 billion to something less than $250 billion.
The committee was also briefed on the Choose Home Care legislation that would create a new Medicare benefit to expand home health to include services such as 360 hours of personal care.
“This would be a great opportunity for our members who provide personal care. Many home health agencies have indicated that they would turn to personal care agencies to meet the personal care hours requirement,” said HCAOA Executive Director Vicki Hoak. “We should support this and do whatever we can to educate our legislators about its benefit. It is also another indication that Medicare is finally recognizing the importance of non-medical services and their value in improving health outcomes.”
Cooney also provided an update on the Credit for Caring Act (S.1670/HR 3321), which has bipartisan support. Members were reminded that the House Ways and Means Committee included this proposal in their version, advocacy must continue to ensure this tax credit for family caregivers remains in the Biden package.
The committee then turned its attention to a Florida issue that has many agencies who private duty nursing, primarily for children with complex medical needs, concerned. Since Florida lifted a moratorium on Medicare-certified home health agencies, the state is now denying Medicaid provider enrollment applications when the agency is NOT Medicare-certified. For agencies doing private duty nursing, there is no need for Medicare certification because these agencies do not bill Medicare, making this requirement unnecessary.
HCAOA is working with members and state officials to address this issue. If your agency has encountered this issue, contact Vicki Hoak at firstname.lastname@example.org.