Submitted by Lee Dobson, Area Director, NC Government Affairs (GAO)
On June 19, lawmakers released a $23 billion budget for 2017-2019. Below are some of the provisions impacting us:
Increased Personal Care Services Rate: This provision increases the Medicaid rate for aide services under the Personal Care Services (PCS) program and the Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP-C). The rate will increase from $13.88 to $15.50 (July 1, 2017) and $15.60 (January 1, 2018)pending approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Much to our disappointment, CAP-DA was left out of the budget. A technical issue made it difficult to increase the CAP-DA rate within the established budget neutrality requirement. A rate increase would have meant fewer authorized hours for clients to stay within overall program requirements. BAYADA’s Government Affairs Office continues to work on a solution.
Protected the certificate of need (CON) for home health care from being eliminated.
Expanded Innovations Waiver slots: This provision added 400 additional Innovations Waiver slots across the state.
Submitted by Tara Montague, Manager, Client and Family Advocacy, NJ (GAO)
On May 26, as part of the Home Care Association’s Advocacy Day, our client, Victor Muniz, spoke during a press conference held by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Victor, who receives personal care assistance through the Jersey City (JC) office, shared the importance of home health aides in his rehabilitation and his ability to live independently. In addition, William Chambers, father to Perth Amboy (PER) client Billy Chambers, spoke about how home health aides enable him to continue to care for his son at home, but there is a strong need for increases in reimbursement rates. He stressed that aides are simply not paid enough money for what they do.
Submitted by Laura Ness, Director, PA Government Affairs (GAO)
On April 6th BAYADA Leaders, including Practice President David Baiada,Chief Government Affairs Officer Dave Totaro, Assistive Care State Programs (ACSP) Practice Leader Eric Thul, Crocus Division Director Kevin Kuzmick, PCA Director Donna Russell-Kane, and I met with Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Wagner. This meeting was a result of a previous meeting that Dave Totaro and I had with Senator Wagner introducing the need to increase the personal assistant services (PAS) rate under the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) by an average of 10%.
The meeting took place in the BAYADA PCA office. We discussed the ACSP business, its challenges and advantages, as well as the wage issues associated with the program. Senator Wagner also heard first-hand about what it’s like to be a home health aide from PA Department of Aging’s Direct Care Worker of the Year, BAYADA aide Anne Pannone.
The conversation was productive, and Senator Wagner understands the value of home care and the cost savings it can provide to the Commonwealth. He has agreed to help us in our legislative priority of increasing the PAS rates and would also like to spend a day in the field with Anne to see the work first-hand.
We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Wagner.