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NAHC Report: Issue# 2523, 10/8/2014
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Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of its Companionship Rule
CMS Issues Request for Information on Medicare Hospice
For Your Information: NAHC is Hosting a Free Teleconference on the Proposed Changes in the Home Health Conditions of Participation
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Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of its Companionship Rule
Rule would have required minimum wage and overtime compensation for home care workers

The US Department of Labor announced that it is delaying enforcement of the rule change that would have triggered a minimum wage and overtime obligation starting January 1, 2015 for personal care home care workers’ employers. The delay also affects the rule change on live-in domestic services.

DoL has maintained the effective date of the rule as January 1, 2015. However, it is delaying any enforcement of the rule for 6 months, January 1 to June 30, 2015. After that period, DoL indicates that it will use its discretion in enforcement, taking into consideration whether affected parties, particularly state programs such as Medicaid, are undertaking good faith efforts to bring about eventual compliance.

Numerous parties had requested a delay. The DoL Notice references the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), the National Association of Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities(NASUAD), organizations representing disability advocates, and the states of Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, and Pennsylvania as supporting a delay. It appears that the driving influence on the DoL action was the impact on Medicaid and recipients of home care services funded by Medicaid.

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CMS Issues Request for Information on Medicare Hospice

On October 2, 2014 CMS announced a request for information regarding health plan innovation.  Specifically, CMS is requesting information on hospice and Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage – Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans. 

Currently, the Medicare hospice benefit is “carved out” of the MA and MA-PD benefit package. When an eligible MA beneficiary elects the hospice benefit, all Medicare-covered services the beneficiary receives while in hospice care are covered by original Medicare.

Consequently, Medicare beneficiaries are required to forgo curative care to receive access to palliative care services offered by hospices. CMS is researching interest in approaches that would give participating MA and MA-PD plans the option to offer hospice benefits concurrently with curative care to plan enrollees.

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NAHC is Hosting a Free Teleconference on the Proposed Changes in the Home Health Conditions of Participation
Teleconference, presented by NAHC Staff, is being held Thursday, October 9 from 12.00pm – 1.00pm EST

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice is hosting a free teleconference, How to Understand What the Proposed Changes in the Home Health Conditions of Participation Mean to You?

The teleconference is being held tomorrow, Thursday, October 9 from 12.00pm – 1.00pm EST.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice is presenting this teleconference for its members. Teleconference faculty includes: Val J. Halamandaris, NAHC President; Mary Carr, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs; and, Bill Dombi, Vice President for Law.


Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act of 2014). Val J. Halamandaris, NAHC President participated in the ceremony at the White House.

Following the bill signing, President Obama and officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new conditions that home health care providers must meet to participate in Medicare.  Once the proposed rule is posted, home health agencies will have 60 days to submit comments.

Home health agencies must meet the Medicare HH CoPs in order to participate in the Medicare program. Agencies that fail to meet any of the HH CoPs are at risk, at a minimum, for the imposition of a number of sanctions and potentially at risk for program termination. 

Although CMS has made several significant revisions to the HH CoPs through out the years, many of the current CoPs have remained unchanged since their inception. In 1997, CMS attempted to revise the HH CoPs with a proposed rule that focused on patient-centered outcome oriented quality standards. However, since CMS did not publish a final rule within the required three years time frame, a new proposed rule must be issued.

This teleconference will provide you with an overview of the proposed changes in the regulation and related key issues.


Please send an email to Cheryl Lee ( The first 500 to email will participate, members will be given priority. The call-in number is 1-800-243-6403; the conference code will be emailed prior to the call.

QUESTIONS: We encourage advance submission of questions from participants on the related subject or submission while the teleconference is live on the date of the broadcast. Should your question(s) not be addressed in the call due to time constraints, we will highlight in NAHC Report. Send questions to Barbara Woolley at

Registered Nurses and Hospice Staff

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, is looking for experienced, supportive Registered Nurses and hospice staff.

In keeping with our commitment to providing compassionate and continuum care at every stage of life, we are opening Renown’s first-ever hospice program and we're looking for experienced RNs and hospice staff with at least two years of prior hospice experience.

Renown Health is northern Nevada’s largest integrated health network and a nationally recognized healthcare leader. Based in Reno, Renown serves a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. The Reno-Tahoe region holds a range of lifestyle options that spans from downtown Reno to the shores of Lake Tahoe. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to explore the natural beauty of our region. Experience as much or as little as you want as you thrive in our small-town feel and friendliness and all the financial benefits that come from a state with no state income tax.

Learn more at: or contact Anne Larson, Recruiter, at 775-982-6306. EEO/M/F/V/D


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