On Thursday, October 26, the BAYADA NJ PAC hosted a fundraising event in Trenton honoring 7th District Assemblyman Troy Singleton. Attendees included 7th District Assembly candidate Carol Murphy, representatives from the home care industry and other industries supportive of Assemblyman Singleton, who is currently running for the 7th District Senate seat.
Chief Government Affairs Officer David Totaro welcomed Assemblyman Singleton and thanked the many sponsors and attendees who contributed over $13,000 in support of the Assemblyman’s campaign. Assemblyman Singleton has been a supporter home care, our clients, and employees for many years. He recently sponsored legislation that will mandate managed care companies to reimburse the Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Program at no less than the state’s fee-for-service rate.
In July, Assemblyman Singleton introduced new legislation to increase the reimbursement rate under state fee-for-service for private duty nursing by $10 per hour. During the event, BAYADA recognized Assemblyman Singleton as the “Legislator of the Year” for his ongoing commitment to making home care better and stronger, as clients and families deserve the care they need in the setting they prefer: their own homes.
In December at the BAYADA Home Health Care Champion Awards we reflected on a year of many victories and looked ahead to a new year with new challenges. Speakers, awardees and nearly 100 guests celebrated the successful increase of NJ’s fee-for-service rate for personal care assistants to $19 per hour. We also acknowledged employees’, clients’ and home care industry friends’ commitment to advocacy. These efforts led to the passage of A320/S1018, which was signed by Governor Christie earlier this year. Effective this July, A320/S1018 requires Managed Medicaid reimbursement rates for home health aide services to be at or above the state’s fee-for-service rate.
An inspirational highlight of the night, those in attendance were moved by Dana Insley’s touching speech. Dana is the mother of a young client who had a difficult start to life. Dana’s daughter was placed in foster care before being adopted by the Insley family. Dana spoke of the blessing home care has been in her family’s life and discussed the significant improvements her daughter has made with the support of her BAYADA nurses.
The evening’s honorees, Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver, Senator-elect Declan O’Scanlon, and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz were visibly moved by Dana’s remarks and reiterated their support for home care during their acceptance remarks.
Also honored at the ceremony was Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who represents New Jersey’s 4th District, which encompasses the Insley family’s home. Assemblyman Moriarty had visited the Insleys home in the past and was able to glean a full and meaningful understanding of the day-to-day life of a child receiving home care.
After a heartfelt evening that reminded everyone of our purpose and why we do what we do, Chief Government Affairs Officer David Totaro took the stage to remind all of those in attendance of the importance of advocacy and that, in addition to words, action is needed. He noted the huge impact of New Jersey advocates, who sent nearly one-quarter of all messages directed to federal legislators this summer from BAYADA’s network during the health care reform debate. Thank You for your commitment to advocacy.
Last month I attended an event honoring StateRepresentative Dean Arp (R-Union). Rep. Arp serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee responsible for crafting North Carolina’s state budget. Chairman Arp will be critical in allocating sufficient funds to the Medicaid budget for the increases we are seeking this legislative session. During the event we discussed the importance of getting the rates up prior to Medicaid’s transition to managed care, which is targeted for July 2019. In addition to supporting our issues in the past, Rep. Arp has been on a home visit and understands the importance of home care in the continuum.
With Sen. Tucker’s recent retirement announcement, it is critical we have allies in the Senate to help carry our message as well. Senator Joyce Krawiec is next in line. To educate her on our issues, we are in the process of identifying a client in her district to host a home visit early in 2018.
Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)
Special thanks to Shelby (SHE) Associate Director Amber Mitchell and Clinical Manager Vickie Deyton for representing BAYADA at the annual legislative breakfast in Shelby. Community leaders received an update from the General Assembly; Speaker Tim Moore and Representative Kelly Hastings. Amber is a familiar face at these legislative events and over the years has built a great relationship with Cleveland County lawmakers. In fact, when they approached for a photo, Rep. Hastings called out, “I’ve got to get on your schedule to do a home visit.” Attending these community events not only builds awareness of the importance of home health care, but also increases our BAYADA visibility in the community.
Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, SC Government Affairs (GAO)
Last week, two Hearts for Home Care Ambassadors represented BAYADA at Governor Henry McMaster’s Inauguration Ball as part of a contingent from the South Carolina Association for Home & Hospice Care (SCAHHC), a Platinum sponsor. Division Director Melissa Allman and Director Stephanie Black participated in a private reception, as well as the dinner. With BAYADA’s commitment to the state and its recent expansion, this was a great opportunity to begin building relationships with lawmakers and show support to the 117th Governor. Other SCAHHC attendees included David and Rayna Powell of Hospice Care of South Carolina and Kevin McHugh and April Mills of Embrace Hospice. Both Melissa and Stephanie reported it was a great evening and well worth the effort. They both would definitely do it again!
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: