Session Finale: Home Care In-Service, Sepsis Bills Pass

HCA applauds the state Legislature for passing two important home care bills at session’s end: one that provides technical support for compliance with home care aide in-service training standards; and another that establishes a national-first education, training and support program for home care-sepsis intervention.

HCA will be calling upon your offices to help urge Governor Cuomo’s signature on these measures.

The in-service bill (S.5605/A.7854), sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried and Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera, was recommended by HCA members to ease agency administration and compliance. It requires the submission and tracking of mandatory annual in-service hours for home health aides and personal care aides in the Home Care Worker Registry. This existing database contains information about home care aide training qualifications and background checks.

Home care sepsis legislation, S.1817 (Rivera)/A.3839 (Assemblyman John McDonald), would be a national-first legislative vehicle for support of HCA-developed sepsis programming. It recognizes that, far from only a hospital problem, 80 to 90% of dire sepsis cases actually originate in the community setting. It would specifically buoy the state Department of Health’s action in support of home care sepsis interventions through: clinician training on the sepsis screening tool pioneered by HCA; integration of home care-sepsis screening data and outcomes within electronic health records; and authority to approve grants or other funds for supporting home care-sepsis intervention goals.

We thank legislative sponsors for also advancing landmark bills this session to support the home care workforce, address health disparities through home care, allow collaboration between home care and mental health providers, as well as an extremely critical rate update and benchmarking proposal for home care that we will be looking to revisit in the planning period leading up to next year’s state budget.

For more information on bills that passed one or both houses, see our table here.