POTENTIAL CHANGES TO HOME CARE WORKER COMPENSATION
As part of a plan to reduce the shortage of home care workers in New York, the State lawmakers introduced the Fair Pay for Home Care Act (Senate Bill S5374A / Assembly Bill A6329A). The Act, which is currently in committee in both houses of the legislature, would increase the minimum wage for home health workers to 150% of the minimum wage. This means that home care workers in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester would be entitled to a minimum wage of $22.50/hour. If passed, the wage increases would take effect on January 1, 2023. Based on the wording of the bill, it appears that home care workers in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester will remain entitled to receive additional and supplemental wages under wage parity despite the increase in base wages.
POTENTIAL CHANGES TO HOME CARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES
Hand in hand with the increase in home care worker wages, the Fair Pay for Home Care Act will make certain changes to the way home care providers are reimbursed. Under the Act, the State will be divided up into regions and establish a “Regional Minimum Hourly Base Reimbursement Rate” for each region. The regions are not created by the bill but will rather be established by the Department of Health. This Rate will reflect the average combined costs associated with the provision of direct service inclusive of, but not limited to, overtime costs; all benefits; all payroll taxes, related increases tied to base wages such as compression; reasonable administrative costs; allowances for capital costs; the development of profit or reserves as allowable by law or regulations of the commissioner; and any additional supplemental payments. The initial minimum Regional Minimum Hourly Base Reimbursement Rate are $38.50/hour in regions where wage parity is owed and $38.18/hour in the remainder of the state. For CDPAP services, the above rates may be reduced by up to 12.9% by the Commissioner of Health. In the event that such a reduction occurs, a per member, per month increase reflective of actual administrative and general costs, adjusted to reflect regional differences. The annual regional reimbursement rate will be reviewed and adjusted annually.
As this legislation is still working its way through the Assembly and the Senate, the terms of this Act are not in yet effect and may be subject to change. We here at Sinayskaya Yuniver, P.C. will be keeping careful watch on this bill’s progress and will provide updates as the situation evolves.