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HCAOA WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
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The HCAOA Weekly is a brief update that will be distributed to HCAOA members each week. This communication complements our quarterly newsletter, The Voice, and will provide a vehicle for ensuring a regular flow of information on a more frequent basis. With ever evolving information in the home care industry, we want to ensure the lines of communication remain open and members have a source for quick, valuable news at their fingertips.
Table of Contents

Member News

Chapter News

Congressional Update

Congressional Corne
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Member News

Upcoming Webinar to Discuss Credentialing Process in Senior Care Communities

 

Senior care communities across the country are contracting with companies like Accushield to manage sign-in compliance and vendor credentialing for care providers who work in these settings. The practice of credentialing caregivers that come into assisted living and retirement homes may be inappropriately applied to caregivers employed by HCAOA member companies who are providing services to clients in these facilities. We consider this an unnecessary nuisance at the very least, but also could be costly and raises a serious concern if the process is interfering with a client’s access to quality home care services.

 

We previously asked members to inform us of any similar experiences with Accushield or another company. Thank you for sharing those details with us – we greatly appreciate your feedback. As a result, please save the date of Tuesday, March 6 at 3:00 PM Eastern for a webinar HCAOA will be hosting to discuss what we are doing to address this issue as well as provide information on what legal issues home care providers should be aware of when encountering this type of situation. Registration details are forthcoming.
 

If you have any questions or any further concerns regarding this issue, please contact info@hcaoa.org.

Survey for the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study

In partnership with Home Care Pulse®, HCAOA is proud to invite all home care providers to participate in the annual survey to contribute data to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study. By participating, you will receive a discount code upon completing the survey, which you can use to pre-order the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study for just $99.

The survey is now open! Don’t forget to take this survey before it closes on February 28. To participate, download the Survey Prep Worksheet to help you gather and organize the necessary information. With a completed Survey Prep Worksheet, the survey can be taken in about 30 minutes. 

This study continues to deliver the most comprehensive U.S. home care industry data available to current and potential home care providers. Your participation helps contribute to the greater depth of insight and understanding that this study provides. To learn more about participation and rewards, visit benchmarking.homecarepulse.com/participate.

Order Copies of the HCAOA Value of Home Care Report and Infographic Today!

Caring for America's Seniors: The Value of Home Care provides information on the growing and critical role of professional home care in the U.S. in response to the millions of aging Americans who will need care. The report shines a spotlight on home care as a valuable and vital part of the solution to the challenges that accompany population aging.
 
The report carefully incorporates industry facts, existing data from credible and trusted sources, and stories directly from caregivers and the families they serve to clearly articulate who we are and the benefits we provide, including benefits to seniors, their families, the health care system and the U.S. economy.
 
Click HERE to order your copy today. You may also order the infographic that accompanies the report. Click HERE to order the infographic.
Chapter News

HCAOA Connecticut: General Assembly Convenes Legislative Session

 
Amid another significant budget deficit, stagnant economy and loss of jobs, lawmakers returned to the state Capitol in Hartford today to confront a number of issues. The three-month regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly will be dominated by the budget, against the backdrop of fall elections for all state offices including Governor. Unless a snowstorm in the forecast postpones it, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was slated to deliver his final state of the state address at noontime to a joint session of the legislature.
 
For the Home Care Association of America, the focus will continue to be on labor and employment and consumer protection issues affecting home care companies. The organization continues to support bills that improve the business climate for employer-based providers and protect seniors. Undoubtedly, legislation will arise that would adversely affect members of HCAOA Connecticut, such as a proposed ban on non-compete agreements last year.
 
HCAOA Connecticut seeks to clarify the limits of ‘hours worked’ for home care workers. A 2014 amendment to the law could be interpreted to mean that live-in home care workers must work 24 hours a day seven days a week and be paid for that entire time, with no breaks for sleep. HCAOA Connecticut will ask the Labor Committee and the legislature to conform the law to federal regulations by specifying that a live-in caregiver performing domestic service and his or her employer may agree to exclude a regularly scheduled sleeping period of eight hours from hours worked.
 
Other issues likely to be considered by the legislature that would affect home care companies include: an increase in the minimum wage, an individual medical insurance mandate, pay equity, fees assessed on certain low-wage employers such as franchises, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and prohibiting on-call shift scheduling.
 
HCAOA Connecticut encourages members to participate in the legislative process, such as Connecticut Care at Home Day. The annual event provides an opportunity for home care agency owners and staff to meet with their state senator and representative and let them know of the importance of home care to their senior constituents and the economy and how policies they adopt affect their businesses. The event, which is co-sponsored with Association of Connecticut Homecare Agencies, will be scheduled for late winter or early spring.
 
The regular legislative session adjourns May 9, 2018.

HCAOA Washington: A Successful In-Home Services Day

 
Why In-Home Services Day?
 
Home care, hospice and home health agencies all work cooperatively together to coordinate care in a patient’s home. In Washington state, all in-home care agencies are licensed and regulated under the Department of Health.
 
On In-Home Services Day, the Washington Home Care Association (HCAOA Washington), the Home Care Association of Washington and the Washington State Hospice and Palliative Care Organization worked as a team, meeting with legislators from all over the state. They all serve patients in the most desirable setting – their homes – and share common concerns facing the in-home care industry.
Thirty attendees representing home care, home health and hospice agencies met with 55 state legislators. In these meetings, agencies were mixed and matched with a combination of services and worked off the same “song sheet” that was used for talking points.
Prior to the legislative day meetings, the group has an orientation and training session on the Capitol Campus, led by Leslie Emerick, who is the lobbyist for all three associations. A role-playing session is scheduled to let new participants see how a meeting goes and how to present their case to legislators. Constituents of the legislators lead the meetings.

HCAOA California: HCAOA/CAHSAH 2018 Lobby Day


This year, HCAOA and the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) are teaming up for a Lobby Day on Wednesday, March 14 at the Capitol Plaza.
 
The day will include meetings with legislators to discuss issues relevant to providers of home care and home health.
 
Click here to register today!

HCAOA Illinois: February Meeting

 
HCAOA Illinois will be hosting its regular meeting in February. Meet with fellow members and receive a legislative update, in addition to updates on chapter news and activities. For more information, please see the February Meeting Agenda.
 
Date: Tuesday, February 20
Time: 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Location: Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Free for chapter members.
 
Please be sure to register even if you plan on attending in person.
 
Click HERE to register!
 
If you are having trouble registering contact our Chapters Manager, Nataly Schwartz, at nataly@hcaoa.org, or call our office at 202-508-3870.

HCAOA Arizona: Lobby Day Prep Meeting Tomorrow

 
Join HCAOA Arizona for a meeting to discuss lobby day preparations. Attendees will enjoy a presentation from Goodman Schwartz, detailing what to expect on lobby day and answering any questions you may have.

Date: Thursday, February 8
Time: 9:00am MST
Location: Home Assist Health | 3737 North 7th St., Ste. 203, Phoenix, AZ
Cost: Free!
 
Or join us virtually! Click here to access this meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
 
You can also dial in to the meeting with the phone number and access code below:
  • United States: +1 (872) 240-3412 
  • Access Code: 979-376-973 
If you plan to attend tomorrow's meeting, virtually or in person, please don't forget to register below!
 
To further assist our lobby day efforts, please click here to complete a brief survey. Your feedback is immensely helpful to us! It will only take a few minutes of your time and all results will be kept confidential.
 
If you have any questions please contact Manager of Chapter Services, Nataly Schwartz at nataly@hcaoa.org or 202-508-3872.
 
Click here to register now!

HCAOA Alabama: Virtual Chapter Meeting


Join HCAOA Alabama chapter leaders and members for a virtual chapter meeting to discuss the introduction of state licensure.
 
When: Thursday, February 15 at 10am Central
 
Click HERE to register! A dial-in number will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

If you have any questions please contact Nataly Schwartz, Manager of Chapter Services at nataly@hcaoa.org
Congressional Update

CMS Proposes Home Care Benefit Within Medicare Advantage Plans

 
On Feb 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed changes for the Medicare health and drug programs in 2019 that increase flexibility in Medicare Advantage, allowing more options and new benefits to Medicare beneficiaries, meeting their unique health needs and improving their quality of life. One new option will be the availability of home care services.
 
As a part of these changes, CMS is redefining health-related supplemental benefits to include services that increase health and improve quality of life, including coverage of non-skilled in-home supports, portable wheelchair ramps and other assistive devices and modifications when patients need them.
 
“Our priority is to ensure that our seniors have more choices and lower premiums in their Medicare health and drug plans,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We are focused on addressing the specific needs of beneficiaries and providing new flexibilities for Medicare Advantage plans to offer new health-related benefits. This is a big win for patients.”
 
CMS has previously not allowed an item or service to be eligible as a supplemental benefit if the primary purpose included daily maintenance. Under the new policy, CMS would allow supplemental benefits if they compensate for physical impairments, diminish the impact of injuries or health conditions, and/or reduce avoidable emergency room utilization.
 
HCAOA had the opportunity to speak with CMS staff in recent days about these changes that will impact calendar year 2019 services. CMS indicated that home care providers WILL NOT need to be Medicare certified providers, such as home health agencies, to provide home care through Medicare Advantage plans. But they encouraged HCAOA to make a formal comment to the agency as they prepare further guidance for Medicare Advantage plans.
 
HCAOA will be submitting comments on the proposed Advance Notices and Draft Call Letter by March 5. The 2019 Final Rate Announcement and Call Letter will be published on April 2.

Senators Working on Voluntary Paid Parental Leave Issue

 
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Joni Ernst say they are working with the Independent Women’s Forum on legislation that would allow a worker to deduct Social Security contributions to use for leave from work for family-related situations. No legislative language is yet available.

Congressional Corner

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer

 
Senate leaders announced Wednesday the contours of a bipartisan deal to raise defense and nondefense spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years. The agreement, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced on the chamber floor, would raise defense spending by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and more next year, and nondefense spending by $63 billion in fiscal 2018 and $68 billion in fiscal 2019.
The Senate is expected to pass the measure and send it to the House before government funding expires at the end of Thursday, which is the expiration of the current continuing resolution that Congress passed in January. House conservatives are expected to reject the proposal, which means Democratic support will be necessary for it to advance.

Home Care Association of America
444 N. Capitol Street NW, Suite 397, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 800-22-HCAOA Email: info@hcaoa.org  Website: www.hcaoa.org

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