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HCA’s Sepsis, In-Service Bills Pass Both Houses

The state Legislature remains in session at the time of this writing to consider a range of final bills, with an expected adjournment sometime tomorrow, according to reports.

Two HCA bills cleared both houses this week with votes in the Assembly yesterday following earlier passage in the Senate. They include HCA’s aide in-service tracking bill and our sepsis legislation.

HCA also participated in a press conference and media outreach yesterday, along with representatives from 20 other community-based provider associations and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, on a third bill related to health care transformation funds.

That bill (A.7997A/S.6376) would assure a minimum of 25 percent of these transformation funds are dedicated to community-based providers, including home care. Earlier this year, $675 million of such funds were used for a Medicaid rate increase to hospitals and nursing homes across New York; but no such funding has yet been dedicated to community care providers.

The coalition’s press outreach was covered by Politico New YorkCrain’s Health Pulse and the Albany Times Union. Members can read the press release here. HCA has also created messaging for our members and the coalition to use in support of this bill through our Legislative Action Center, which, to date, has netted over 1,200 messages sent to legislators from across community-based sectors.

The in-service bill (S.5605/A.7854), sponsored by Assemblyman Gottfried and Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera, was recommended by HCA members to ease agency administration and compliance via the submission and tracking of mandatory annual in-service hours for home health aides and personal care aides in the Home Care Worker Registry.

Our sepsis legislation, S.1817 (Rivera)/A.3839 (Assemblyman John McDonald), would be a national first legislation to make sepsis intervention a constituent part of underlying state home care regulations, Article 36, recognizing that, far from only a hospital problem, 80 to 90 percent of sepsis cases presented in hospitals actually originate in the community setting. It would specifically buoy the state Department of Health’s action in support of home care sepsis interventions in numerous ways, including: clinician training on the sepsis screening tool pioneered by HCA; integration of screening data and outcomes within electronic health records; and authority to approve funds for supporting home care sepsis intervention goals through grants or rate supplements.

Bills that pass both houses must be delivered to the Governor to be acted upon.

HCA greatly appreciates the work of bill sponsors to shepherd these important measures and we will report back as soon we learn of further updates at session’s end in the coming day.

For questions or concerns about HCA’s legislative agenda, please contact Alyssa Lovelace at alovelace@hcanys.org.

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