Report: Bridging the Gap - Policy Recommendations to Enhance Immigrant Direct Care Worker Support in the U.S.
The "Bridging the Gap" report, authored by Robert Espinoza, Executive Vice President of Policy at PHI, highlights the role played by immigrant direct care workers in the United States' healthcare system, particularly in long-term care for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Immigrants constitute a substantial 27% of the direct care workforce in the country, underscoring their pivotal contribution to this essential sector. However, the long-term care industry confronts significant challenges, with 9.3 million direct care job openings anticipated between 2021 and 2031.
HCAOA Washington Chapter Addresses Exclusion of Family-Funded Home Care Providers in WA Cares Act Funding
Recently, the Washington LTSS Trust Commission recommended (see slide 27) that family-funded home care providers be excluded from accessing WA Cares Act funding if they do not have a contract to provide Medicaid services. HCAOA and its Washington Chapter submitted a letter to the Commission expressing its vehement disagreement with the proposal, which you may read by clicking here.
California DSS, Department of Aging Officials Attending HCAOA California Chapter Meetings Next Month
All HCAOA members in California are encouraged to register for one of the Chapter Meetings scheduled for November 29 in Foster City or November 30 in Chino Hills. HCAOA has confirmed that top officials from the Department of Social Services Home Care Services Bureau will attend the meetings to provide updates on the ongoing Guardian issue, inspections, and investigations. Representatives from the Departments of Aging and Human Services will also attend the meeting, as well as state legislators. Don’t miss this opportunity to get updates directly from the source while networking with other providers.
This is it! The 2023 HCAOA National Home Care Conference is next week. If one word could describe this year's conference, it is 'RECORD-BREAKING' with a 30% increase in total attendees compared to 2022 and a sold-out exhibit hall with nearly 100 exhibitors!
Connecticut’s Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman announced recently that the community ombudsman program will officially begin taking referrals this winter to advocate on behalf of individuals who receive long-term services and support. The office is committed to “enhancing the quality of life and care for Connecticut citizens residing in various community settings [and] plays a crucial role in addressing concerns, advocating for improvements, and ensuring the rights and well-being of those it serves.”
On October 10, it was announced all 10 drug companies selected for Medicare Drug Pricing Negotiations Program'sfirst cycle have opted to participate. These companies manufacture some of the most expensive and commonly used prescription drugs. These selected drugs accounted for $50.5 billion in total Part D gross covered prescription drug costs, representing about 20% of the total Part D gross covered prescription drug costs between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023. Medicare enrollees taking these 10 drugs paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022.
Corcoran Consulting Group LLC welcomed Guy Tommasi to their team as Senior Vice President and Managing Consultant for Home Care Services. In this role, Tommasi will provide strategic guidance to Corcoran's home care agency clients, helping them optimize their operations, expand their client base, strengthen their caregiving teams, and demonstrate their value to payers in the continually evolving home care landscape.
Last month, HCAOA held a unique roundtable discussion with the Top 16 Finalists for the 2023 Caregiver of the Year Award. This energetic and interactive discussion gave these exceptional caregivers an opportunity to dive deep into the ever-evolving home care industry, providing insight into why they are so passionate about being a caregiver, what recommendations they have to better the home care industry, and how to recruit and retain caregivers. Beyond the insightful discussions, they also relished the opportunity to connect with one another, bonding over their shared love for caregiving.
In a historic event on October 4, over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers staged the largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history. The strike, lasting three days, resulted from unsuccessful negotiations after the expiration of the workers' union contracts on September 30. While the strike did not disrupt hospital and emergency department operations, it drew attention to the ongoing nurse staffing crisis and concerns about patient safety due to short staffing.
The Better Medicare Alliance released its 2023 State of Medicare Advantage Report, which shows record-setting enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans. The report highlights several key findings, including the fact that in-home support services provided by Medicare Advantage plans increased 50% between 2022 and 2023. The average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in 2023 is at a 16-year low of $18. Beneficiaries report spending significantly less on out-of-pocket costs and premiums annually, resulting in $2,400 in savings, which amounts to 44% less than other Medicare options. Medicare Advantage offers substantial value to both beneficiaries and the federal government, covering all Medicare-covered services for 24% less than Fee-For-Service (FFS) Medicare. Additionally, 95% of beneficiaries are highly satisfied with their coverage. Between 2022 and 2023, in-home support services increased 50%.
AARP's Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) 2023 State Scorecard Report was just released and reveals significant gaps in the care provided to older adults and individuals with disabilities in the United States. Although there has been some overall progress compared to the 2020 update, every state still has areas that require improvement.
Effective June 1, 2023, the Connecticut Department of Social Services, in response to the increase in the minimum wage, is retroactively increasing rates by 4.9% for several Home and Community-Based waiver service providers, the Department announced in a policy bulletin on September 29. (The increase supersedes one that was issued last summer and was effective July 1, 2023.) The programs include the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and Personal Care Assistance.