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New Hampshire House Passes First-In-The-Nation Legislation To End Payment of Subminimum Wages To People with Disabilities

New Hampshire House Passes First-In-The-Nation Legislation To End Payment of Subminimum Wages To People with Disabilities

Press  Release,  April 15, 2015
CONCORD, NH – Today the New

Hampshire House of Representatives passed SB 47. New Hampshire becomes the first state in the country to repeal statutes that permit employers to pay persons with disabilities less than the state minimum wage simply because they have a disability. SB 47 received unanimous bipartisan support in both the house and the senate.

“SB 47 is a historic policy statement that reflects the current approach to hiring persons with disabilities that has evolved since the 1940’s in New Hampshire – every person with a disability can be competitively employed with the right supports and right job match,” said Chris Rueggeberg, Policy Director for the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities. “Paying people with disabilities subminimum wages is not necessary or helpful for them to get a job. They can be hired on their merits and abilities,” added Rueggeberg.

SB 47 prime sponsor Senator Hosmer has hired people with disabilities at his AutoServ business for the past 20 years. “The people I hire improve the whole culture and working atmosphere for all my employees,” said Senator Hosmer. SB 47 repeals outdated statutes and outdated approaches to hiring persons with disabilities that date to 1949.  Employers in New Hampshire no longer pay persons with disabilities a subminimum wage. Sheltered workshops are closed. Disability rights organizations, rehabilitation professionals, persons with disabilities working at competitive wage jobs and their employers, the NH Labor Department, the NH Department of Health and Human Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for Blind and Visually Impaired in the NH Department of Education all worked to pass SB 47. “I’m very pleased that the House has approved SB 47.  Last year, when I discovered that it is was legal in New Hampshire to pay persons with a disability less than the minimum wage simply because of their disability I introduced legislation to study this issue. The
study committee that I chaired unanimously recommended legislation to ban this practice in New Hampshire, ”  said former State
Representative  Chris Muns.

The New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities is a federally funded state agency that supports public policies and initiatives that remove barriers and promote opportunities in all areas of life. The Council carries out its mission through education, advocacy and the funding of innovative projects that make a difference in people’s lives. Find out more at http://www.nhddc.org.

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Court Ruling Related to the DOL Companion – Home Care Rule

This is a follow up to the DOL emails we sent earlier today.  After consideration of the parties’ pleadings, the arguments of counsel and relevant law, and the entire record in this case, plaintiffs’ motion for a partial summary judgment is GRANTED, defendants motion is DENIED, and the Department of Labor’s Third Party Employer regulation scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, is VACATED.  See below for a summary on the decision.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has today issued a partial summary judgment on two pieces of a lawsuit filed by the Home Care Association of America and other plaintiffs related to the Department of Labor’s Home Care Rule. Please note that this information is not legal advice, and is shared after a swift and preliminary review of the decision.

The decision notes that after consideration of the parties’ pleadings, the arguments of counsel and relevant law, and the entire record in this case, plaintiffs’ motion for a partial summary judgment is GRANTED, defendants motion is DENIED and the Departments Third Party Employer regulation scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, is VACATED.

The largest area implicated by this decision is the third party employer regulation, which withdrew the availability of the companionship and live-in caregiver exemptions from third parties.

Companionship Exemption

As you know, the companionship exemption was impacted in two important ways by the Home Care rule. First, the rule established that the companionship services exemption is not applicable when the employee spends more than 20 percent of his or her workweek performing care services. This portion of the regulation is NOT impacted by this decision, so the companionship exemption is available only when this percentage test is met.

Second, the rule set forth that the companionship exemption is not available to third party employers. This portion of the rule, called the Third Party Employer regulation, is impacted by this court decision by allowing third party employers to avail themselves of the exemption. This means that, for situations meeting the definition of and test for companionship, workers can receive straight pay, not overtime for work over 40 hours/week even when there is a third party employer.

Live in Exemption

Like the Companionship exemption, the DOL rule removed the availability of the live-in caregiver exemption from third party employers. This ruling allows third parties to utilize the exemption, enabling straight pay for live-in caregivers, including for those hours worked over 40.  For details on what constitutes a “live-in” domestic service worker and other conditions of the exemption, see Fact Sheet #79B: Live-In Domestic Service Workers Under the FLSA. http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs79b.htm

While this is decision is important, this case has not been fully decided (there are other counts to be considered by the court) and there will likely be appeals filed, even on this limited judgment.  As a result, states should remain vigilant in their planning and budgeting in the event that, at the conclusion of these legal proceedings, the original rule will be in full force and effect.

NASDDDS will continue to closely monitor developments and keep you apprised.

To read the court’s decision, visit:

https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2014cv0967-21

 

Therap Services Wins South Carolina DDSN Contract for Statewide EHR

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Selects Therap Services as the Statewide Reporting System:

Electronic Documentation Software Solution for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Providers Wins Competitive Bid as the SaaS for SCDDSN

WATERBURY, Conn., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Therap Services, leader in electronic documentation software for Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability Service Providers, announces it has been selected as the statewide Software as a System (SaaS) Reporting System for South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN).

“Therap Services is excited to work with the state of South Carolina as the electronic documentation and communication solution for the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.” Stated Justin Brockie, Therap Services COO. “We are honored to have the opportunity to bring Therap’s secure transparency to South Carolina’s state teams, DSN Boards, providers, and citizens.”

“The new partnership between SCDDSN and Therap is an exciting and vital step in improving the quality of care and services for thousands of individuals with disabilities in South Carolina.  The benefits are multifold from both the individual perspective and the statewide level,” commented Dr. Beverly Buscemi, SCDDSN’s State Director.  “Therap offers us a comprehensive system to facilitate communication between caregivers, support professionals, specialists and families to better meet the needs of an individual while simultaneously enhancing our ability as the state’s system to collect, track and report sensitive information to meet state and federal requirements.  This new venture will move us forward in providing quality services.”

Barry Pollack, Southeast Regional Director for Therap Services, states “The partnership between Therap Services and South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is a remarkable stride in its provision of the highest quality care to individuals. In its commitment to increase communication and maintain stellar documentation through use of Therap Services, SCDDSN remains on target with their mission to assist people with disabilities and their families in meeting needs, pursuing possibilities and achieving life goals.”

Therap Services applications and certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) provide the documentation components needed by Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability Service Agencies to maintain their focus while adapting to a changing environment within the Human Services industry.  State and federal agencies and standards, including CMS and HIPAA, mandate strict requirements on accurately tracking incidents, including those reports of abuse and neglect and prevention of Medicaid fraud. Therap’s customers can complete and monitor documentation efficiently across secure domains, enabling them to focus on providing higher quality services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Therap is used across disciplines in the I/DD field per the CMS home and community-based services (HCBS) requirements. Therap applications include over 70 modules ranging from documentation of service provision through a daily note, to person centered planning tools, incident report management, health assessments and individual care plans, an electronic MAR integrated with an industry-standard drug database, an individual referral process for state and multi-provider systems, a comprehensive report library for internal and external audits, to electronic billing direct to Medicaid through a secure, HIPAA 5010-compliant method.

About Therap Services, LLC

Therap Services provides secure, web-based documentation, communication and electronic billing services to over 1400 intellectual disability providers across the United States as well as for twelve state government ID systems of care.

This includes a certified EHR, HIPAA compliant Medicaid and private billing, service documentation and secure communication and data sharing between all stakeholders including families and self advocates.

Therap’s software-as-a-service solution is used in HCBS Waiver, ICF/IID and other services to document residential and community based supports, employment supports, case management, incident reporting, management of staff training records and for electronic billing claim submissions directly to Medicaid.

Learn more at www.TherapServices.net.

 

We APPRECIATE You!

On behalf of all of our team at Therap, we just want to take a moment and say, Thank You! It is because of the 1200+ agencies across the country that Therap is the leader in electronic documentation for the developmental disability industry.

We couldn’t have gotten here without YOU! Icon of Wink

We APPRECIATE You!

Spring Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, April 30th, 2013

It’s here…Therap’s first South Carolina Regional Conference!

Regional Conference in West Columbia, South Carolina, April 30-May 1, 2013

The conference will be a good place for prospective users to learn about individual support documentation and reporting, electronic health records (EHR) and training management. Event highlights will include:

  • Hands-on training on different Therap modules including incident reportshealth tracking and billing (see below)
  • Sessions focused on implementation and effective use
  • User presentations, brainstorming and discussions
  • User group meeting and discussions

The conference will be especially beneficial for Therap users in South Carolina and agencies from surrounding states would also find it useful.
Register for Spring Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, April 30th, 2013
Registration:
Registration Fee: $100
Register by March 30, 2013 for the Early Bird
Discount and pay $80 only!

Online Registration

Downloads:
Information Flyer
Preliminary Schedule (in black & white)

Venue/Accommodation:
Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport
110 McSwain Drive
West Columbia, South Carolina 29169
Phone: (803) 391-4000

Note: Ask the hotel for the Therap Block Rate of $99.00+Tax
(Includes hot breakfast buffet and complimentary Airport Shuttle
service to/from airport 4am-11pm daily)

 

Therap National Conference Coming Soon ! January 29-31, 2013

Here it is, the time has come…The annual Therap National Conference is back again this month.  Don’t miss out this year, take advantage of the Early Bird Discount and Register by January 7th!  

 

*This is the best and most comprehensive training opportunity to get the most out of Therap for your organization.  I hope to see may of you there!

Therap National Conference, Ramada East Hanover, New Jersey, January 29-31, 2013

Therap would like to welcome everyone involved in providing support and services to the people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD).

Therap has been focused on developing software that can be used to document and track progress of individuals, and this conference will provide an opportunity for the agencies and State officials to get a comprehensive, hands-on view of the system. Here, you can meet the Therap staff and also network with people from other parts of the country who are also using the applications to manage their data. Therap also is a platform that improves the communication regarding services provided within the organization, which in turn raise the quality of services! This will be the place to hear all about it.

Event highlights include:Therap's National Conference Graphic
* Hands-on training on Therap modules including Individual Service Plans, Health Tracking and Billing
* Sessions for advanced level users and certified trainers
* User presentations on implementation and usage (Interested in presenting?)
* Focused sessions for states, counties and multi-state providers
* Brainstorming and requirement analysis for future upgrades
* Presentations by other vendors

The details of the sessions and timings are available in our schedule (Download Schedule).

If you have questions, please contact us.

Registration:
Registration Packages:
$220 – 3 Day Conference
$245 – 3 Day Conference + Bus to NYC and back on 30th evening with free time to explore on your own.
$265 – 3 Day Conference + Guided tour of NYC and pizza dinner on 30th evening.
Online Registration
Note: Register by January 7 for an Early Bird Discount
and pay only $180/$205/$225 per attendee for the respective packages.
All price includes lunch and snacks during the day.


Venue & Accommodations:
Ramada Hotel & Conference Center
130 Route 10 West, East Hanover, NJ, 07936.
Call (973) 386-5622 to reserve rooms.

You can ask for the Therap Block Rate of $94(plus tax) if you book you stay by December 27, 2012.

You can book rooms at the Holiday Inn Parsippany(just beside the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center) also at the same rate (Call (888) 465 4329 to reserve rooms).

Free Shuttle to/from the Hotel:
Therap will be chartering a bus for pickup from the AirTrain Monorail atNewark Airport on Monday, January 28, 2013 which is the day before the National Conference starts on January 29.

Exact monorail stops will be announced. The charter bus will have a 50 person limit. Our plan is to have the bus for airport pickups at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. People taking Amtrak trains can also meet the bus.

There will be two buses on the last day of the conference, Thursday, January 31, 2013, for taking attendees back to the airport. These buses will start from the hotel at 3:30pm and 5:30pm. If we are allowed we will drop people directly at each terminal. Or else, the will drop will be at a Newark Airport Monorail station.

The times may vary due to traffic and other conditions. We will announce specific times and a pickup location closer to the event.

We are not guaranteeing space on the bus, although we think there should be availability for people to get on the bus of their choice. This is the first year we are attempting this, so please let us know if this is useful or if there are any questions.