Legislative Session Ends, HCA Turns to Post-Session Priorities 

Situation Report | June 14, 2021

The state Senate and Assembly adjourned last Thursday, June 10, and Friday, June 11, respectively — on time with the 2021 Legislative Session calendar.

It remains unclear, however, if lawmakers will return to Albany for a “special session,” despite having left without agreement on parole, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and sexual harassment reforms, among other prominent health and environmental legislative priorities.

During the final weeks of session, HCA worked to defeat legislation — A.181-A (Gunther)/S.4885-A (Savino) — that would apply facility-based nursing hour regulations to home care. The proposed legislation is geared toward facility-based settings and is incompatible with the provision of care in the home. The bill did pass in the Assembly but died in the Senate.

HCA also issued a memo of opposition to the Fair Pay Act — A.6329 (Gottfried)/S.5374 (May) — that would create billions of dollars in current and future unfunded wage mandates for home care agencies. While well-intended, the act would ultimately collapse home care services. As members will recall, HCA previously stopped a similar provision during this year’s budget process.

HCA also sought the passage of legislation to repeal the Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA) Request for Offers (RFO) process — an overreach by the Department of Health in unilaterally deciding whether and which LHCSAs can continue to operate and serve individuals in need. As previously reported, HCA recently partnered with the New York State Association of Health Care Providers and LeadingAge New York in a press conference calling for this repeal. Despite sponsorship in both houses of the Legislature and a strong united push by the associations, this bill did not move forward and HCA is turning to a post-session strategy in establishing parameters for the RFO process.

HCA also worked to secure sponsorship of other measures, including bills promoting a Home Care First policy, providing for telehealth equity and coverage in home health, and mental health/home care collaboration.

However, key legislative offices had differing priorities and timetables for deliberation of these areas. HCA’s public policy team will meet with key lawmakers and leadership in the coming weeks and month to further discuss the bills in time for the 2022-23 Legislative Session.

HCA is currently developing an “End of Session” bill report outlining the Association’s priority legislation and outcomes which will be in available in next week’s Situation Report.

For questions or concerns about this year’s Legislative Session, please contact HCA’s Director for Policy and Advocacy Alyssa Lovelace.