The 2023 Growth Summit, with NAHC’s Kristen Wheeler

You might have heard: our friends at Home Care Pulse are hosting the third annual Growth Summit, February 15-16, 2023 —a two-day virtual conference with top experts in sharing their knowledge, experience, and advice, all available from where you are.

We’re excited to be a part of the event—in fact, our very own Kristen Wheeler, Executive Director of Private Duty Home Care at NAHC, will be discussing the latest updates on the legal issuse facing your organization. There will also be live Q+A sessions throughout the event so that you can get exactly the answers you need to help your business grow.

Here are some of the sessions to be excited for:

  • What’s Next for Home-Based Care Marketing in 2023
  • 2023 Benchmarking Report Sneak Peek
  • How to Foster a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • The Latest on Legal Updates
  • How to Standardize Your Recruiting Process

Having the event online allows it to be priced much cheaper than other conferences so that more people can attend —
howeUse our exclusive NAHC discount for $50 off. You can view details about the event and get your tickets here:

Private Duty Data Byte for January 2023: Specialty Care Training

Welcome to the January 2023 Home Care Data Point from NAHC and Home Care Pulse.

This month’s data byte is the percentage of home care agencies providing specialty care training. As usual, NAHC members figure prominently; proportionally, more NAHC members provide specialty care training than the industry average!

Omnibus Budget Legislation: Relevant Provisions Affecting Home Care

  • GO HERE to see the portions of omnibus budget legislation that impacts home health and hospice

The Omnibus bill is massive at over 4100 pages. We have distilled those provisions that directly or indirectly affect home care and hospice. Those include both policy changes and funding actions through federal appropriations. NAHC will continue to keep the community aware of and understanding the implications of this end-of-the-year legislation.

Relevant links:

Medicaid Home Care

  • Section 5114 Extends Money Follows the Person demonstration program through 2027 at $450 million per year
  • Section 5115 Extends HCBS spousal impoverishment protections through FY2027
  • Section 5131 Provides funding for transitioning Medicaid from the 6.2% enhanced FMAP (not HCBS specific)
    • Quarter ending 3/31/23 — 6.2%
    • Quarter ending 6/3/23  — 5.0%
    • Quarter ending 9/30/23 — 2.5%
    • Quarter ending 12/31/23 — 1.5%     

VA Health Care

  • Section VA Medical Foster Home
    • Includes “home health services” access as part of the MFH change

Earmarked Appropriations and Guidance

  • $236,000 Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice, Maine—for nurse practitioner fellowship program
  • $1,940,000 Hospice of Connecticut, Branford, CT—for facilities and equipment

Skilled Care Workforce.

The agreement urges the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, to support the expansion of the skilled care workforce to care for a rapidly aging U.S. population and provide home and community-based services to older adults and people with disabilities, including through education and training grant programs, as well as traditional and nontraditional apprenticeship programs.

Addressing Workforce Shortages.-

The agreement supports HRSA’s efforts to develop the workforce needed to care for a rapidly aging U.S. population. The agreement encourages HRSA to address the skilled care workforce needs of seniors through existing workforce education and training programs.

Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR)

The agreement includes $59,413,000 for competitive grants within the NEPQR program. Within this total, the agreement provides $10,750,000, an increase of $5,000,000 above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, to expand competitive grants to enhance nurse education through the expansion of experiential learning opportunities. The grants shall include as an allowable use the purchase of simulation training equipment. HRSA shall prioritize grantees with a demonstrated commitment to training rural health professionals in States with high rates of chronic age-related illness, including stroke, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

ADMINISTRATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING (ACL) AGING AND DISABILITY SERVICES PROGRAMS

Protection of Vulnerable Older Americans.-

Within the total, the agreement includes an increase of $2,000,000 for the long-term care ombudsman program.

National Family Caregiver Strategy.-

The agreement continues to provide $400,000 for the Family Caregiving Advisory Council.

Aging Network Support Activities.-

The agreement includes $5,500,000 for the Care Corps grant program , with an increase of $1,500,000 for subgrants to programs that are capable of building a network of screened and trained volunteer chaperones to accompany older adults and adults with disabilities in need to and from non-emergency medical appointments and outpatient procedures.

The agreement includes $2,000,000 for a direct care workforce demonstration project to identify and reduce barriers to entry for a diverse and high-quality direct care workforce, and to explore new strategies for the recruitment, retention, and advancement opportunities needed to attract or retain direct car e workers.

89% of US Department of Labor Investigations Revealed Violations

As the nation recognizes Home Care and Hospice Month, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) presented a public webinar aimed primarily at the Southeast care industry so that employers and employees alike understand their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An alarming 89 percent of investigations completed between 2020 and…

Notes from the Private Duty Advisory Council

NAHC’s Private Duty Advisory Council monthly meeting this week, featuring an update on NAHC’s advocacy efforts as well as potential policies being monitored from Co-chair Brittnei Salerno of La Jolla Nurses Homecare and Executive Director of Private Duty at NAHC Kristen Wheeler. Legislation being watched by the NAHC Advocacy Team includes:

NAHC President William A. Dombi reminded the group that these bills will need to be reintroduced next year for the new Congress. We are very unlikely to see any movement on this legislation during the lame duck session of the current Congress.

Council Co-Chair Brittnei Salerno of La Jolla Nurses Homecare and Private Duty Executive Director Kristen Wheeler shared updates on these items, as well as a regulatory update that may potentially affect providers in the Southeast United States. The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new initiative to better enforce violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The campaign aims to improve compliance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“The US DOL is determined to ensure these workers are not denied any of their hard-earned wages. Our current initiative combines compliance assistance and enforcement to decrease violations by employers in the care industries,” said DOL’s Wage & Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria. The initiative will focus on resources to educate care workers in the industry along with targeting the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. A public webinar hosted by the DOL on Thursday, November 17, 2022, will review the protections for care workers so that employers and workers alike will understand their rights and responsibilities currently protected by the FLSA. The states being targeted are a result of division investigators identifying violations in nearly 89 percent of investigations completed in home and nursing care completed between 2020 and 2022.

During the state share portion of the meeting, the Council discussed the recently passed $15 minimum wage for Medicaid direct service providers in Florida. Council member Maxine Hochhauser of LHC Group told the group that the Medicaid fee schedule increase simply does not cover the cost of providing services. Expectations are that many Medicaid recipients will no longer have access to care unless the reimbursement rates are increased. The Home Care Association of Florida has joined the Florida Assisted Living Association and the Florida Ambulance Association in challenging the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration on this requirement, maintaining that the agency did not use a proper rule-making process to define “direct care” workers who would be affected by the wage change. Further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Council members that sit on various workgroups of the Home Care Action Alliance updated the group on the efforts of those groups. Meetings are in their final stages and Project Manager Pat Kelleher is compiling recommendations of the groups. An early December release of these recommendations and action items is on track.

NAHC’s Private Duty Summit is expected to come to fruition in 2023 as a “conference within a conference” at the Annual Conference & Expo in October. The summit will feature robust educational sessions and will be individually branded to ensure attendees understand the separation. However, attendees will also be allowed access to the keynote general sessions as well as the lively trade show hall.

Bill Dombi rounded out the meeting with an update on what’s happening on Capitol Hill with home care legislation.

Interested in being a part of the Private Duty Advisory Council in 2023? Let us know!

5 Critical Problems the Home-Based Care Industry is Facing

Kristen Wheeler, Executive Director of Private Duty at NAHC, shares some of the most common issues in the industry and what providers need to focus on to create long-term career for their employees. Question #1: What are the five critical issues issues affecting the care industry. Question #2: When we combine these 5 problems, how are…

Your Agency Needs the Best Personal Care Workforce Data

The 2022 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo Annual Conference & Expo is right around the corner and you don’t want to miss out on this chance to attend the premier and largest educational and networking event of the year! Here’s a teaser of what’s on tap for home care providers on opening day:

National Personal Care Workforce Data Study

Join us for the unveiling of a new data study, conducted by NAHC and MissionCare Collective. In partnership with one of the world’s largest data companies, we’ve evaluated 65,000 personal care workers across more than 90 data sources. The analysis includes identification of seven personas of today’s worker and key motivations and drivers to recruit, engage, and retain caregiver talent.

All attendees will receive a copy of the full report!

Private Duty Leaders Fighting for Home Care

  • GO HERE to support the Better Care Better Jobs Act

On Wednesday, September 14, industry leaders from around the country joined NAHC staff in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to support legislation that would, among other things, permanently increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by 10% for Home-and Community-Based Services (HCBS) through Medicaid programs. The Better Care Better Jobs Act (S. 2210 / HR 4131) would further address patient and caregiver challenges by:

  • Expanding HCBS services to include personal care, family supports, and respite;
  • Annually address and update payment rates for HCBS, giving the public the opportunity for input;
  • Develop workforce training opportunities;
  • Make permanent the Money Follows the Person program

Recent data shows there are nearly five million Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in HCBS programs, with approximately 820,000 individuals on waitlists. NAHC firmly supports a commitment from Congress to invest in HCBS in order for providers to begin to meet the growing demand for quality care in the home.

Click here to contact your elected officials and ask them to support the Better Care Better Jobs Act now!