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:: NAHC Report
 
NAHC Report: Issue# 2451, 6/17/2014
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
NAHC and Other Advocacy Organizations File Lawsuit Against Department of Labor’s Companionship and Live-in Rules
Cost Report Information: Tips to Ensure Acceptance
For Your Information: NAHC Affiliate the National Council on Medicaid Home Care will Host “Call with the Experts” Teleconference on June 24
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NAHC and Other Advocacy Organizations File Lawsuit Against Department of Labor’s Companionship and Live-in Rules
Legal Action Aims to Protect and Preserve Access to High Quality Home Care Services for Patients and to Maintain Take Home Pay for Home Care Workers

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) recently filed a lawsuit that aims to overturn the new Department of Labor rules restricting the application of the companionship services and live-in exceptions to minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements. Three plaintiffs, the Home Care Association Of America, the International Franchise Association, and the National Association For Home Care & Hospice have filed suit against the U.S. Department Of Labor seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the Department’s violation of Federal law. The new rules are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.

Under the Department of Labor’s new companionship rule, “companionship services” has been redefined to be limited to “fellowship”, “protection”, and limited direct personal care. Personal care-related services are limited to no more than 20 percent of the hours worked. Under this definition, 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. It is also highly likely that virtually all private pay services will be affected by the new rule.

The revised standards for the exemptions also exclude their application to employees employed by home care agencies (“third-party employers”). The modified “companionship services” exemption along with the live-in domestic services exemption will apply for workers directly employed by the client or a family member. That still causes a negative impact on so-called consumer-directed care because of the new, limited definition of companionship.

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Cost Report Information: Tips to Ensure Acceptance

Hospices that have recently completed a cost reporting year are in the throes of preparing their cost reports; these hospices will be using the current hospice cost reporting instructions. New cost reporting instructions could be issued at any time, though, and are anticipated to be applicable for cost reporting years beginning as early as October 1, 2014. The pending future cost report instructions will contain significant changes that will, eventually, impact all hospices. 

NAHC’s Home Care & Hospice Financial Manager’s Association (HHFMA) has developed a uniform chart of accounts that coordinates with the forthcoming changes, and has undergone CMS review to ensure consistency. If hospices have not already done so, they are strongly encouraged to begin using the uniform chart of accounts now so they will have the correct data to submit for future cost reporting periods. When the pending cost report changes become applicable, CMS will also institute additional edits that will assist providers and help to ensure greater accuracy and consistency in cost reporting.

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NAHC Affiliate the National Council on Medicaid Home Care will Host “Call with the Experts” Teleconference on June 24

NAHC Affiliate the National Council on Medicaid Home Care will host it’s next “Call with the Experts” teleconference on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST.

This is a regular call hosted by the Council where subject matter experts provide valuable information on crucial issues facing Medicaid home care.

The focus of the June call will be an update on the Companionship Services Exemption and the ACA Employer Mandate advocacy effort. Bill Dombi will update members on the recently filed lawsuit regarding the Companionship Services Exemption as well as progress with the ongoing advocacy efforts to delay the implementation of the ACA Employer Mandate. Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions.

This teleconference is set for Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 3:00PM-4:00PM EST. The teleconference is open to all Medicaid Council members without charge. Feel free to include any and all of your staff. The teleconference will include two-way communication capabilities.

To access the teleconference:
Call-in: 877-722-1471
Passcode: 1189334780

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