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NAHC Report: Issue# 2484, 8/7/2014
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NAHC Files for Summary Judgment in Companionship Services Rule Lawsuit
Medicare Telehealth Parity Act Introduced in the House
For Your Information: Hospice Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting
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NAHC Files for Summary Judgment in Companionship Services Rule Lawsuit

On August 1, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, along with co-plaintiffs Home Care Association of America and the International Franchise Association, filed a Memorandum in Support of Motion for Expedited Partial Summary Judgment (the Motion) in the lawsuit challenging new overtime pay rules.

The lawsuit aims to overturn the new Department of Labor rules restricting the application of the companionship services and live-in exemptions to minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements.

Specifically, the Motion seeks to set aside the third-party employer restrictions of the Rule that effectively eliminate the application of the exemptions to home care companies. The lawsuit is an effort to secure an injunction against the enforcement of the new rules before they are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.

New Rule Misapplies Third Party Status

The Motion argues that the Department of Labor (DOL) exceeded its statutory authority by stating in the new Rule that “third party employers of employees engaged in companionship services may not avail themselves of the minimum wage and overtime exception even if the employee is jointly employed by the individual or member of the family or household using the services.” The Motion argues that the new Rule “imposed an unauthorized minimum wage and overtime requirement on employers (and joint employers) solely on the basis of their ‘third party’ status.”

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Medicare Telehealth Parity Act Introduced in the House
Bipartisan bill would expand telehealth services covered under Medicare

Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act (H.R. 5380) prior to Congress adjourning for its August recess. If enacted, this bipartisan proposal would expand telehealth in a series of three phases.

Phase one expands telehealth services under Medicare for video conferencing and technologies known as store-and-forward which allows clinical information such as videos, data, and x-rays to be stored and then sent to another site for evaluation. This phase expands these services to all federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and in counties within metropolitan statistical areas with populations less than 50,000. The bill will expand telehealth coverage for certified diabetes educators, speech language therapists, audiologists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.  The use of remote-patient monitoring for diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will also be incorporated in this phase.

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Hospice Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting features track-specific educational sessions, informative round table discussions and much, much more. Below are some of the sessions included in this year’s Hospice Track:

  • How to Ensure Compliance, Program Integrity, and More
  • How to Develop and Grow Successful Palliative Care Programs
  • How to Meet the Financial and and Data Requirements of The New Hospice Report
  • How to Prepare for Hospice Payment Reform: Where it Stands and How Hospices Can Prepare

Visit the NAHC website for full descriptions and to register for the conference!

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