Category Archives: Home Health Workers

CMS Announces Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Services

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 42 CFR Part 484, [CMS-1541-FC], RIN 0938-AO32, 2007

From press release:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule to refine and update the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) for Calendar Year (CY) 2008. This final rule reflects the ongoing efforts of CMS to support beneficiary access to home health services and improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries through more accurate payments for services rendered. Refinements to the Medicare HH PPS as well as the annual update to the Medicare payment rates for home health services will disburse an estimated additional $20 million in payments to home health agencies in CY 2008.
Home Health Prospective Payment System Refinement and Rate Update for Calendar Year 2008; Final Rule with comment period on display in the Federal Register on August 22, 2007
Fact Sheet

2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey to Begin Including New Home Health Aide Supplement

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 29, 2007

From press release:
The 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will begin in August 2007 to collect information on this important segment of health care in America. The latest in a series of surveys about home health agencies and hospices, the 2007 survey will include a first-ever, nationwide survey of home health aides, the group that provides the majority of direct care to the Nation’s 1.5 million home health and hospice patients.

See also:
National Home and Hospice Care Data

Low Wages Prevalent in Direct Care and Child Care Workforce

Source: Kristin Smith and Reagan Baughman, Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire, Policy Brief no. 7, Summer 2007

One in every two direct care workers and one in every three child care workers live in a low-income family (below 200 percent of the poverty line), and many live in poverty. Hourly wages for the caregiving workforce are low and many lack health insurance. Despite work, these families struggle to make ends meet. Our society depends on the care work of many paid professionals-direct care and child care workers-to help meet the daily needs of our children and the elderly. To stem turnover and provide quality services to young children and the elderly, job conditions among the direct care and child care workforce must improve, and increasing wages is a promising place to start.

Home Is Where the Work Is: Inside New York’s Domestic Work Industry

Source: Domestic Workers United and DataCenter, July 2006

As immigrant workers nationwide battle for basic respect, a leading domestic workers’ organization released a full, unprecedented report detailing exploitative conditions and demographics of the nation’s most hidden low-wage industry. The report combines statistical analysis of data from over 500 mostly immigrant workers with personal stories of workers and employers, in a joint effort between DataCenter and Domestic Workers United. Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley’s introduction explains how the nation’s troubled history of race, gender and class inequality come shamefully together in its domestic work industry. New York University’s Immigrant Rights Clinic delivers a historical look at why the law continues to ignore household labor, perpetuating ancient views that domestic labor is not “real” work.

Behind Closed Doors: Working Conditions of California Household Workers

Source: Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Day Labor Program Women’s Collective of La Raza Centro Legal, DataCenter, March 2007

In 2002, Mujeres Unidas y Activas and the San Francisco Day Labor Program Women’s Collective of La Raza Centro Legal came together to analyze and to strategize to improve the household work industry. Because there is no official data available about the number of household workers or information about their work conditions in California, these membership-based and membership-led organizations of low-income immigrant Latina women, many of whom are household workers, joined with the DataCenter and the San Francisco Department of Public Health to create a participatory research project to assess the industry. Over thirty immigrant women were trained to administer the survey and together they collected two hundred and forty surveys from their peers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The hour-long surveys were conducted on buses, in parks, at Laundromats and in the homes of household workers. As the Household Worker Rights Coalition Survey (HWRC Survey) results make clear, this is a very vulnerable industry. Rampant abuses of household workers must be addressed.