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DOL Homecare Rule Webinar

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WEBINAR INFORMATION:

The Department of Labor (DOL) published a Final Rule on October 1, 2013 extending minimum wage and overtime pay protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to most home care workers (who may have job titles such as home health aide or personal care assistant) who provide essential assistance to people with disabilities and older adults.  On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision upholding the Final Rule.  On Friday, September 18th from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern Time, senior leadership from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Office of the Solicitor will hold a webinar to discuss the Home Care Final Rule.  Presenters will provide an overview of the Final Rule as well as the Department’s guidance regarding joint employment in domestic service employment under the FLSA and the application of the FLSA to shared living programs.  Our comments will address questions we have received from states, including about the home care litigation.

TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR:

Please click https://www.eventbrite.com/e/home-care-final-rule-implementation-webinar-for-states-registration-18538483102  to register for the webinar.

Once you register, you will receive an email with the information you need to access the webinar.

QUESTIONS:

There will be a question and answer period after DOL’s presentation.  If you would like to submit a question(s) in advance, please email it totatum.laura@dol.gov at your earliest convenience.  During the webinar, we will respond to as many questions as possible.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Information about the Home Care Final Rule is available athttp://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

Information about the litigation related to the Home Care Final Rule is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/litigation.htm.

CMS: New Manged Care and Quality Assurance Standards

The “correct” quality assurance program will always be a question until CMS requires states to standardize their Managed Care processes among MCOs in each state. We all have the opportunity to discuss standardization now, which will not come around again for years. Please see the below information from ANCOR. I encourage people to comment on the CMS proposed rules. CMS Issues

Landmark Proposed Rule on Medicaid Managed Care

On June 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule titled “Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Programs; Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP Delivered in Managed Care, Medicaid and CHIP Comprehensive Quality Strategies, and Revisions Related to Third Party Liability.” The agency states that this proposed rule would modernize the Medicaid managed care regulations to reflect changes in the usage of managed care delivery systems.

Home care providers will want to be aware that the proposed rule proposes to add a definition for long term care support services (LTSS).  The CMS proposal defines LTSS as “services and supports provided to beneficiaries of all ages who have functional limitations and/or chronic illnesses that have the primary purpose of supporting the ability of the beneficiary to live or work in the setting of their choice, which may include the individual’s home, a provider-owned or controlled residential setting, a nursing facility, or other institutional setting.”  CMS states that they intend for community based services within the scope of this definition to be largely non-medical in nature and focused on functionally supporting people living in the community.  Examples of what CMS would consider community based LTSS include Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) delivered through a section 1915(c) waiver, section 1915(i), or section 1915(k) state plan amendments, as well as personal care services otherwise authorized under the state plan.

HCAOA also notes that CMS is seeking to amend the existing regulation requiring each state to establish a credentialing and re-credentialing policy that addresses all the providers, including LTSS providers, covered in their managed care program regardless of the type of service provided by such providers.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted through July 27, 2015. A copy of the proposed rule can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CMS-2015-0068-0001

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