HCA has worked with Senate and Assembly offices on: legislation to support the home care, hospice and MLTC workforce; public health initiatives; and efforts to overcome health disparities by relying on the unique strengths of home care.
We thank the offices of Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera, Senator Susan Serino, Senator Catharine Young and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill for reintroducing several of these bills for the 2019 Legislative Session (S.1359; S.1420; S.1816; S.1817; S.1791/A.1128; S.888/A.408). We also urge colleagues to cosponsor and voice support for these measures.
While these are standalone measures, we recommend that the Legislature include several of them as proposals in the state budget, as a way of supporting the home care system and offsetting costs.
So, what do these bills accomplish?
- S.1359 and S.1420 support home care, hospice, MLTC workforce needs. HCA urges adoption of these bills in the budget. They include: rate add-ons targeting workforce shortage areas and disciplines; piloting of funds to support unique personnel needs in home and community care (such as transportation, child care, training/education, career development, peer support and other); labor market analyses leading to reimbursement levels necessary for competitive recruitment, retention and compensation of home care and hospice staff; state policies and actions to promote entrance into home care and hospice as a valued and encouraged area of health care practice and employment; and more.
- S.1816 and S.1817 incorporate home care into the state’s prevention, public health and primary care efforts. HCA urges adoption of these bills in the budget. In line with state budget negotiations, these provisions could help position home care more strongly in term of its roles and partnerships, yielding system savings for reinvestment in workforce and infrastructure needs. A separate proposal has been introduced to support home and community-based sepsis intervention and a continuum response to sepsis through the HCA-innovated sepsis tool.
- A.1128 and S.1791 support quality innovation, clinical and health information technology supports that are essential to home care, hospice, MLTC and the evolving infrastructure. These bills advocate state budget allocations for capital infrastructure and reimbursement provisions ensuring premiums and rate adequacy for essential costs.
- A.408 and S.888 update the terms and conditions for coverage of home care under private and commercial coverage. They also prevent artificial and inequitable limits on home telehealth coverage inadvertently left behind when the 2015 telehealth insurance parity law was enacted. Simply put, the home care provisions of state insurance law are outdated. They were designed for a time when the vision for home care was much more limited. They do not match how home care has evolved to handle more complex care cases, shorter hospital lengths of stay (as sicker patients are discharged faster to the home setting and need post-acute care), and efforts to promote in-home long term care as an alternative to nursing facilities.
If your office is interested in learning more about these bills or becoming a co-sponsor, please contact any member of the HCA Policy Team.