NAHC Hosts Teleconference Call for Private Duty Home Care Agencies
NAHC Staff Share Updates on the Companionship Exemption, ACA Implementation and Other Pressing Topics
October 15, 2013 12:15 PM
Earlier this week, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) hosted a teleconference specifically for Private Duty home care agencies. The call gave those who work in Private Duty the opportunity to hear directly from NAHC leadership on a range of topics that directly affect their business and bottom line.
The call was lead by NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris who was joined by Bill Dombi, NAHC’s Vice President for Law, Jeffery Kincheloe, NAHC’s Vice President for Government Affairs and Richard Brennen, NAHC’s Vice President for Technology.
Chief among the issues discussed was the new companionship exemption rule promulgated by the Department of Labor earlier this year. “Since 1974 the companionship rule has been on the books,” said NAHC Vice President for Law Bill Dombi during the teleconference. “And there’s been politics attached to this issue for quite a few years.”
The new companionship rule redefines “companionship services” to be limited to “fellowship”, “protection”, and limited direct care. Care related services are limited to no more than 20% of the hours worked. This definition means that the vast majority of Medicaid personal care services will be subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements. Private pay home care impact will vary on a client-specific basis. The new exemption also excludes employees employed by home care agencies (“third-party employers”) from any remaining exemption. The exemption will remain for workers directly employed by the client or a family member. However, that exemption will apply only if the services are within the new, limited definition of companionship.
On the fellowship services definition, Mr. Dombi stated that, “fellowship services are like buying a friend, which is not what home care agencies provide. What most infirm individuals need is not a friend. They need care.”
On the changing role of home care providers under the new rules, Mr. Dombi stated, “almost nothing in the realm of home care personal care has much of a chance for qualifying for the companionship exemption or the live-in care exemption…[Home care] workers are going to get the short end of the stick. It will become an industry filled with part-timers.”
The full teleconference is available online to NAHC members. Please click here to download the full teleconference.