NC Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Announced

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

Dr. Mandy Cohen has been appointed by NC Governor Roy Cooper as the new Department of Health & Human Services Secretary to lead Medicaid.  Cohen, an internist, carries a wealth of experience and knowledge having recently served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore.  She plans to partner with healthcare providers, consumers, regulators, and lawmakers for a healthier state. BAYADA submitted formal comments on four Medicaid clinical policies.  Special thanks to the division director review teams for their insight and guidance in drafting these recommendations.

Caption: Dr. Mandy Cohen

BAYADA Participates In Pennsylvania Homecare Association Public Policy Strategy Session

Submitted by Laura Ness, Director, PA Government Affairs (GAO)

Over the last several weeks, BAYADA’s Government Affairs Office (GAO), the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, our government relations firms Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, and the Bravo Group have worked to establish goals and strategies for the 2017-2018 legislative session.  We evaluated what worked in years past, the current political climate, and our resources to establish our course of action.

2017 Goals:

Level the playing field, allow presumptive eligibility for home health care

Increase the personal assistant services (PAS) rate by an average of 10% for programs under the Office of Long Term Living (OLTL)

Next Steps:

GAO has identified several legislators to pursue as champions for our two goals.  We are finalizing our research and putting together our fact sheets and will be ready to reach out shortly.

 

Breakfast With A Purpose in North Carolina

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

To commemorate the start of the 2017-2018 regular session, our staff attended an annual breakfast in Raleigh on January 11.  As hosts of the event, staff had a 30 minute private mingle with members.  We were able to thank lawmakers for the nursing increase last year, and to discuss the less-than-adequate aide rate and the overly burdensome and varying administrative requirements of Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations.  Further, Senator Shirley Randleman, a home care supporter, thanked us for keeping her in the loop on a constituent issue where a medically fragile child is in jeopardy of losing his private duty nursing.  To which Randleman said, “For the insurance company to say this baby is stable and doesn’t need home health care is unbelievable.”  She is willing to help in any way possible.  Events like this allow us to continue to build relationship with lawmakers.  Click here for photos.   Special thanks to the following staff members who represented BAYADA:

  • Chad Shore
  • Dena Hinkle
  • Donna Heatherly
  • Elizabeth Goad
  • Trip Smithdeal
Photo: BAYADA advocates at the Women in Politics breakfast on January 11.

Maryland Legislative Session Opens

Submitted by Shannon Gahs, Associate Director, MD Government Affairs (GAO)

An intense 90-day legislative session opened January 11 with Governor Larry Hogan pledging to operate in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation, as did Senate President Mike Miller.  Speaker of the House Michael Busch did not, promising instead to press forward with a Democratic agenda.  Mandatory paid sick leave and addressing a huge budget shortfall are expected to be the biggest topics of 2017.

New Delaware Governor and Lieutenant Governor Sworn In

Submitted by Shannon Gahs, Associate Director, DE Government Affairs (GAO)

The 2017 legislative session opened January 10 and a newly-elected governor and lieutenant governor were sworn in on January 17.  Governor John Carney and Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long are expected to focus on the state’s financial situation and a large budget shortfall this year.  Director of Delaware Pediatric Visits (DP) Mandy Brady and I attended Carney and Hall-Long’s inauguration celebration on Tuesday evening.

Photo: Mandy Brandy and Shannon Gahs at Tuesday’s inauguration

South Carolina: First Ask

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, SC Government Affairs (GAO)

This year, will be the first year in many years that we will be working with lawmakers to garner support for a much needed Medicaid rate increase.  We are partnering with other providers, as well as the South Carolina Association for Home & Hospice Care to ensure a unified voice.  Lawmakers return to Columbia on January 10, where we will work with leadership in both chambers. Senator Hugh Leatherman, Sr. of Florence will remain the chair of Finance and Senator Harvey Peeler, Jr. of Cherokee will lead Medical Affairs.  In the House, Representative Brian White will remain chair of Ways and Means.

North Carolina: We’re Off To The Races

Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)

Lawmakers return to Raleigh, NC for the start of the 2017-2019 legislative session on January 11.  We expect to see a few changes in committee assignments and leadership, especially in House Appropriations for Health & Human Services (HHS), with the election defeat of Representative Marilyn Avila.  However, we anticipate (and are thrilled) that Representative Nelson Dollar will remain Chair of HHS Appropriations and Representative Josh Dobson will assume the leadership position of vice-chair on that committee.  Senators Ralph Hise and Louis Pate will remain Co-Chairs of Senate Appropriations for HHS.  Our reimbursement priority is to increase the Medicaid aide rate from $13.88 to $17.00 over two years.

Massachusetts Lobby Day Slated for Next Week

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy

On January 10, there will be a lobby day at the State Capital Building in Boston.  The goal of the lobby day is to have a unified group of clients, families, home care providers and all who want a better tomorrow for home care, to come together and unveil a new Patient Bill of Rights.  Moving forward, this Bill of Rights will protect the rights of the children and adults who utilize Continuous Skilled Nursing Services within the home care setting including mandating a fair and more equal wage for the nurses who provide these services in the homes of our clients.

Home Visit with State MD Senator Gail Bates

Submitted by Shannon Gahs, Associate Director, MD Government Affairs (GAO)

On Wednesday, State Senator Gail Bates, who represents portions of Howard and Carroll Counties, joined Area Director David Pareja (BWV) on a home visit to meet a physical therapy client.  They discussed the many types of services that can be provided in home and community based settings, the differences between home-based care and facility-based care, as well as current issues facing our practices in Maryland.