Photo by Michael Schofield on Unsplash

The While House issued a press release announcing that the Access Final Rule will be released later today. These regulations include:

  • The Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule, which will require all nursing homes that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid to have 3.48 hours per resident per day of total staffing, including a defined number from both registered nurses (0.55 hours per resident per day) and nurse aides (2.45 per resident per day);
  • Introducing the requirements of the rule in phases to make sure nursing homes have the time they need to hire staff, with longer timeframes for rural communities;
  • Ensuring adequate compensation for home care workers for HCBS operations of in-home care (both Personal Assistance Services and Community Habilitation) by “requiring that at least 80 percent of Medicaid payments for home care services go to workers’ wages. This policy would also allow states to take into account the unique experiences that small home care providers and providers in rural areas face while ensuring their employees receive their fair share of Medicaid payments and continued training as well as the delivery of quality care;”
  • The state requirement to be more transparent in how much they pay for home care services and how they set those rates, increasing the accountability for home care providers; and
  • The creation of a state home care rate-setting advisory group made up of beneficiaries, home care workers, and other key stakeholders to advise and consult on provider payment rates and direct compensation for direct care workers.

We will continue to monitor the details of these regulations and Pennsylvania’s plans to comply. If you have any questions, please contact Fady Sahhar.

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Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay

On November 7, 2023, RCPA submitted comments to the Department of Labor’s Hour and Wage Division regarding the proposed rule “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees (RIN 1235-AA39).” While we understand the need to modernize and update the Fair Labor Standards Act exemption regulations, RCPA strongly urges DOL to re-examine the proposed new salary threshold in a manner that considers the unique pressures on health care providers, as well as regional variations in the cost of living and average salary for human services providers. As currently written, the proposal unfortunately does not consider the implications of current health care funding for safety net services. Thus, the current proposal would have a potentially devastating effect on health care organizations serving low-income individuals with serious and complex disorders and disabilities, resulting in the need for service cutbacks and program closures.

You can read the full comments here.