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LeadingAge NY Attends Assembly Roundtable on Live-in Home Care Rule

Last week, LeadingAge NY participated in a private roundtable meeting held by the New York State Assembly on wages for live-in home care workers. The meeting was attended by several legislators, including conveners Dick Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, and Michele Titus, Chair of the Labor Committee. LeadingAge NY members Mark Becker of The New Jewish Home’s Home Assistance Personnel (HAPI), Russ Lusak of Selfhelp, and Gail Carmichel of Nascentia Health also participated. Other attendees represented the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, the Home Care Association of New York State, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State, 1199 SEIU, the Legal Aid Society, and the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops.

The group discussed a wide range of issues related to 24-hour home care, including the implications of the 13-hour rule for live-in workers, the impact of live-in versus continuous care for consumers and workers, wage and hour compliance concerns, the costs associated with invalidation of the 13-hour rule, the shortage of home care workers, managed long term care (MLTC) authorization and payment challenges, and administrative and scheduling considerations. The attendees shed light on their different perspectives regarding patient care scheduled in 24-hour live-in shifts in comparison with continuous care (two 12-hour shifts or other 24-hour coverage) and the difficulties that arise regarding scheduling, continuity of care, familiarity of the caregiver for patients and family, and reimbursement. All agreed that high-quality patient care should come first and foremost in determining how to deliver home care services. Provider representatives described their strategies for ensuring appropriate care for patients, determining hours worked, and communicating with MLTC plans. The group discussed the high cost of paying live-in aides for all 24 hours in which they are in a patient’s home and the challenges associated with recruiting workers to staff both live-in and round-the-clock shifts. Participants also discussed the need for better data on live-in and 24-hour continuous cases in order to assess the size and scope of this issue.

LeadingAge NY expressed the need for a concerted effort to recruit and retain home care workers, given demographic trends. It also noted that the many cuts in MLTC premiums and the lack of clarity regarding minimum wage policies are contributing to challenges in the field. LeadingAge NY will continue to communicate with the Legislature and Department of Health (DOH) about these important concerns.

Contact: Meg Carr Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871 and Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 124