Authorizes the commissioner of health to adjust medical assistance rates of payment for certified home health agencies, managed long term care plans, hospices, long term home health care programs, licensed home care services agencies and other entities for recruitment, training and retention of direct care workers for services in shortage areas and by shortage disciplines.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6768
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
home care and hospice worker shortage areas and disciplines
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To authorize the state commissioner of labor, with the assistance of
collaborating state agencies, to conduct a competitive labor market
study to assess and make recommendations for home care and hospice capa-
bility to compete in the labor market for recruitment and retention of
direct care staff to meet patient and health system needs, and to estab-
lish a taskforce to promote entrance, practice, career development and
retention in home health and hospice occupations, including home health
aide, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work and
others that the commissioner designates.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Sets forth the home care-hospice labor market study and
recommendations under the direction of the state commissioner of labor,
with the collaboration of the commissioner of health.
Section 2: Sets for the home care-hospice labor task force, under the
co-chairmanship of the commissioner of labor and director of the office
for aging and the collaborative support of assistance of the departments
of health and aging, and the office of mental health.
Section 3: Provides the effective date.
Both New York State and the United States Department of Labor analyses
show home care occupations to be among the top projected occupational
needs for the foreseeable future. The needs are driven and compounded
by: major demographic changes (in particular the aging of the popu-
lation); changes in state of the art medical practice enabling individ-
uals to live longer, and to survive and live adapting to major trauma
and chronic illness; major changes in hospital and institutional care
use prompted by state and federal health care reforms; and other.
Recruitment and retention of individuals for health occupations in home
care and hospice sufficient to meet demand is a major challenge on its
own, but is made more complex by home care and hospice's less compet-
itive positions in the labor market and in the lesser awareness and
interest of individuals to enter and work in the home care and hospice
fields. Home care and hospices' ability to compete to recruit and retain
staff is at a huge disadvantage as these providers are also most often
not reimbursed at competitive levels with other major employers in the
market for the same health labor force, and when work in the home care
and hospice fields is inherently demanding in unique and extremely chal-
The lack of individuals entering and staying in home care and hospice
occupations, in comparison to the current and future need, is of crisis
proportions around NYS in terms of patient access and overall health
This legislation takes on critical short and long term elements that
need to be addressed in order to ensure an adequate health home health
and hospice labor force, and indeed, adequate health care, for New York-
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2018 referred to health.
None. The legislation seeks corrections and initiatives that will
prevent higher costs to the state by enabling the home care and hospice
systems to have adequate staff to service the patient and community
need. Any rate reimbursement changes or other fiscal measures recom-
mended to the Legislature and Governor by either the market study or the
labor task force would be subject to future budget decision-making.
Immediately, provided that the task force provisions of the bill shall
expire on and after January 31, 2021.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
March 19, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. BRONSON -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to home care and
hospice worker shortage areas and disciplines
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 3614 of the public health law is amended by adding
2 a new subdivision 9-a to read as follows:
3 9-a. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section,
4 effective for annual periods beginning April first, two thousand nine-
5 teen, and for each annual period thereafter, the commissioner is author-
6 ized, subject to the availability of federal financial participation and
7 upon approval of the state director of the budget, to further adjust
8 medical assistance rates of payment for certified home health agencies,
9 managed long term care plans, hospices, long term home health care
10 programs, licensed home care services agencies providing services under
11 contract with such agencies and plans, and such other entities qualify-
12 ing under subdivision nine of this section, targeted for recruitment,
13 training and retention of direct care workers for services in shortage
14 areas and by shortage disciplines which may include nurses, therapists,
15 social workers, home health aides and personal care aides.
16 The commissioner is further authorized to provide such adjustments to
17 pilot test the impact on recruitment and retention of allowing funds to
18 be used for critical supports and incentives for direct care personnel,
19 including transportation, education, training, child day care, career
20 ladder, peer support, and other supports which the commissioner may
22 Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of section twenty-eight
23 hundred seven-v of this chapter, funds for such adjustments may be made
24 available, upon the approval of the state budget director, from any
25 unexpended funds and balances available under such section, and in annu-
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 6768 2
1 al amounts of up to thirty percent of the aggregate level specified for
2 adjustments under subdivision nine of this section.
3 On or before April first, two thousand twenty-one, the commissioner
4 shall submit information to the governor and legislature on the effec-
5 tiveness of the program in recruitment and retention of direct care home
6 care personnel, and in addressing community need, and shall make recom-
7 mendations for the continuation or modification of the program. The
8 commissioner shall seek the input of representatives of the providers,
9 plans, consumers and workers in examining and reporting on the program.
10 § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 2807-v of the public health law is
11 amended by adding a new paragraph (jjj) to read as follows:
12 (jjj) Funds may be made available, from any unexpended funds and
13 balances under this section, for rate adjustments authorized under
14 subdivision nine-a of section thirty-six hundred fourteen of this chap-
15 ter, which shall not exceed the amount specified in such subdivision.
16 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.