A08821 Summary:

COSPNSRRosenthal L, Bores, Seawright, Burdick, Brabenec, Hevesi, Lupardo, De Los Santos, Meeks, Forrest, Santabarbara, Mitaynes, Davila, Shrestha, Colton, McDonough, Raga, Simon, Sillitti
Amd §3614-f, Pub Health L
Enacts the "fair pay for home care act" relating to minimum wages applicable to home care aides; provides for a minimum wage of 150% of the applicable statewide or regional minimum wage.
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A08821 Actions:

01/18/2024referred to health
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A08821 Committee Votes:

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A08821 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the "fair pay for home care act"   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:: To strengthen the ability of New Yorkers to live and age in the communi- ty by investing in a quality home care system through the establishment of a minimum wage specific to the home care sector indexed to 150% of the state minimum wage and ensure provider reimbursement from the state and managed care organizations operating under Medicaid are sufficient to fund a high quality system.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:: Section one of the bill names the act as the "Fair Pay for Home Care Act" Section two of the bill amends subdivision 2 of section 3614-f of the public health law to establish the minimum wage for a home care aide shall be no less than 150% of the otherwise applicable statewide minimum wage or applicable regional minimum wage. This section is effective April 2, 2025. Section three of the bill amends Section 3614-f of the public health law by adding five new subdivisions 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9: 5. requires the commissioner of health to establish a regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rate for all providers employing workers subject to the minimum wage provisions established by this section and defines "regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rate" 6 states that no payment made to a provider who employs health care aides that is less than the regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rate shall be deemed, adequate; that the commissioner of health shall submit all necessary applications to apply for approvals/waivers to CMS to establish regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rates and make state directed payments to providers; and if approved directed payments be made to providers through contracts with managed care organizations; and if not approved, the department shall require plans to justify devi- ations apart from the regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rates 7.states that nothing in this section precludes providers employing home care aides from paying or contracting for rates higher than the regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rate if the parties agree 8. requires the commissioner of health to publish and post regional minimum hourly base reimbursement rates annually and to advise payment of those rates to all payers of home care services 9.states that for years in which rate adjustments have not been calcu- lated prior to start of the calendar year, the prior year's rates shall remain in place until the new rate is calculated plus annual average consumer price index urban and rural; Section four of the bill grants the state comptroller authority to review contracts between managed care organizations and agencies subject to provisions of section 3614-f of the public health law to ensure rates being offered are adequate to meet the department of health actuarial standards and authorizes the comptroller to develop and promulgate a process to ensure audits comply with state and, federal law to protect proprietary information and contracts and if finding that managed care organizations are not paying sufficient adequate rates, refer such inci- dents to the department of health and the Medicaid fraud control unit for enforcement Section five of the bill requires the Department of Taxation and Finance, Heath and Labor in consultation with the Office of Temporary and disability assistance to undertake a study regarding the use of an expanded state earned income tax credit as a strategy to improve the home care workforce. Section six of the bill is the severability clause Section seven of the bill is the effective date   JUSTIFICATION:: New York has a larger need for home care than ever before and is at the center of a national home care workforce crisis. Individuals are going without services or becoming institutionalized because there are not enough home care workers. Over the next ten years, the Public. Health Institute estimates that home care, including consumer directed personal assistance, needs to add more new jobs than any other occupation in the State. The consulting firm Mercer estimates that despite this rapid growth potential, the state will face a shortage of at least 80,000 home care workers by 2025. One of the primary reasons is that home care aids are among the lowest paid workers in the state, averaging just $22,000 annu- al earnings It is reported that fifty seven percent of home care workers rely on public benefitsto care for their own families. Despite the state acting in 2022 to raise wages for these workers, early experience is showing that the increases alone are not enough to meet the demand by attracting and retaining the high quality workforce that is needed. This legislation, (Fair Pay for Home Care) responds to this crisis by providing a dignified wage equal to 150% of the overall minimum wage to these workers. A 2021 study by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and funded by the NYS Office for the Aging found that if wages were increased at this scale, and funded appropriately, the home care workforce shortage may be solved in less than five years. According to this study, Fair Pay for Home Care will create almost 18,000 new jobs in local economies through increased spending capacity of these home care workers.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:: A6329A of 2021/22 (Gottfried) Similar bill - referred to Ways & Means   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE:: April 2, 2025 with section two effective January 1, 2025
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