Pennsylvania’s auditor general will conduct a special audit of the Department of Public Welfare’s contract with a vendor that failed to provide timely paychecks to direct-care workers across the state and throughout the Erie region. The Auditor General’s Taxpayer Hotline and legislative offices have been flooded with complaints from health-care attendants who did not receive their paychecks from Boston-based Public Partnerships Limited. DPW’s Office of Long Term Living consolidated payroll services for the direct-care industry among 37 providers into a single contract with PPL….
Source: LeadingAge, 2012
The LeadingAge Ziegler 100 (LZ 100) lists the largest not-for-proﬁt systems providing aging services through senior living in the United States, by order of their total owned market-rate units. The LeadingAge Ziegler 100 began through the desire of LeadingAge and Ziegler to examine and understand the not-for-proﬁt senior-living field.
The nation’s 100 largest not-for-profit senior living—
• Government-subsidized housing multi-sites
• Single campuses
Roughly one-quarter of Washington County’s workforce faces a coming layoff in the months ahead as the county Board of Supervisors on Friday approved the sale of the Pleasant Valley nursing home and most of the Public Health Department….Friday’s ratification of the sale of Pleasant Valley’s sale to the New York City-based Centers of Specialty Care and the privatization of Public Health’s Certified Home Health Aide, Hospice and Long-Term Care divisions were all but a certainty after both purchase agreements breezed through committee earlier this week….
County seeks input on potential sale of health facilities
Source: Thomas Dimopoulos, Post-Star, February 12, 2012
…The Argyle facility [Pleasant Valley] houses a 122-bed skilled-nursing facility, a 33-bed adult home and a 24-slot adult day health care program. It has accommodated residents since it opened in June 1827 as The Washington County Poor House. The facility is owned and operated by Washington County. The county also owns a separate, public health home care service that includes a certified home health agency and long-term home health care and hospice programs….
…The county put both packages out to bid last April and currently three agencies are vying for one or both of the programs…
The Surry County Board of Commissioners cast a vote Monday night that, after months of study, finalized the sale of the county’s home health care services. … Woltz told the board Monday night that the proposal from United Home Care stands out for several reasons including the employment of the county’s existing staff, their reputation for delivering quality service and the fact that they offered the most money for the agency.
A home health care company owes nearly $275,000 to 61 employees in Elk River, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The employees worked for Accurate Home Care which operates two residential nursing facilities in Elk River. “The investigation determined that the company violated minimum wage regulations by requiring employees to work without pay in order to make up for hours from previous weeks,” said a DOL spokesperson. “The investigation also disclosed overtime violations when licensed practical nurses were paid ‘straight time’ rates, without an overtime premium, for hours worked over 40 in a week.”
Source: Lee A. Lindquist, Kenzie A. Cameron, Joanne Messerges-Bernstein, Elisha Friesema, Lisa Zickuhr, David W. Baker and Michael Wolf, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 60, Issue 7, July 2012
From the abstract:
Objectives: To assess what screening practices agencies use in hiring caregivers and how caregiver competency is measured before assigning responsibilities in caring for older adults….Participants: Four hundred sixty-two home care agencies were contacted, of which 84 were no longer in service, 165 offered only nursing care, and 33 were excluded; 180 agencies completed interviews…. Results: To recruit caregivers, agencies primarily used print and Internet (e.g., Craigslist.com) advertising and word-of-mouth referrals. In hiring, agencies required prior “life experiences” (68.8%) few of which (27.2%) were specific to caregiving. Screening measures included federal criminal background checks (55.8%) and drug testing (31.8%). Agencies stated that the paid caregiver could perform skills, such as medication reminding (96.0%). Skill competency was assessed according to caregiver self-report (58.5%), testing (35.2%), and client feedback (35.2%). General caregiver training length ranged from 0 to 7 days. Supervision ranged from none to weekly and included home visits, telephone calls, and caregivers visiting the central office.
Conclusion: Using an agency to hire paid caregivers may give older adults and their families a false sense of security regarding the background and skill set of the caregiver.
Dangerous Caregivers for Elderly / Agencies place unqualified, possibly criminal caregivers in homes of vulnerable seniors Source: Marla Paul, Northwestern University, News Center, July 10, 2012 |
Across the country tens of thousands of nursing assistants, child-care employees, home-health aides, group-home employees, people who work at after-school programs, and others provide vital services at health-care and human-services charities. The work is physically and emotionally taxing, yet because wages are so low, these employees face many of the same financial challenges as the people they serve.
Nonprofit employers say they want to pay frontline workers more but can’t because of low government-reimbursement rates and the challenge of raising money from donors to improve wages….Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans employs more than 160 personal-care attendants who provide services that allow people with intellectual disabilities to live on their own. The average wage for those positions is $8.70 an hour.
In 2006, Louisiana increased its Medicaid reimbursement rate to $16 an hour, which allowed the charity to increase wages to their current rate, says Jim LeBlanc, head of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans. But the state has since lowered the rate to $14.68.
In addition to covering the attendants’ wages, the charity uses the reimbursement to pay for workers’ compensation and liability insurance, supervisors to oversee the attendants, and other program costs.
Workers do not currently receive health insurance, but Mr. LeBlanc is already anticipating that the charity may have to provide it in 2014 under the new federal health-care law….
Three Republicans emerged publicly last week as the unlikely allies of unionized in-home caregivers and recipients who oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to slash subsidized in-home care….”I want to see what other states are doing with IHSS programs,” Nestande said Friday in an interview. “I want to find the best way. It may be an agency-based model.”
In such a model, private agencies employ caregivers for disabled and frail low-income seniors. The program would still be a government program, Nestande said.
In-home care is a Medicaid benefit paid for with a combination of federal, state, county and out-of-pocket patient dollars. In California, county social workers now authorize hours of care that a recipient requires, and the recipients employ caregivers. The program is managed by counties, with state oversight and wage contributions.
– Privatization of In Home Supportive Services: Not a realistic way to save state resources or care for the needy
Source: UDW, February 2011
– Tulare County IHSS Demonstration Project: An Evaluation of Managed Care
Source: Carole Barnes, Sandie Sutherland, Jeff Johnson, Institute for Social Research, California State University, August 1995
Wampsville, NY — Madison County officials Monday night began ironing out the details of a deal to privatize home health care services following a week of controversy with union officials who criticized leaders for not giving the union or the public notice that the county was going to vote on the issue. In an “open letter to taxpayers” last week, union officials called the Dec. 28 vote to transfer the operation to Home Care of Rochester Inc. a “holiday hoodwink” and said they were given no notice that the board would be voting on the change. …The future of the 44-employee county department came under discussion last spring after a state survey found “significant deficiencies in delivery” of nursing care and therapy to more than 200 homebound patients. The agency has been in the red for the past five years, including a $388,835 deficit in 2009. The agency costs about $3 million to operate, according to the 2010 budget….
…On Monday night, the county’s public health committee discussed the purchase agreement with Home Care of Rochester. The company will pay Madison County $900,000 for the chance to deliver home care services. Becker said the money will likely go into the county’s general fund. In the coming months, the committee will also review management and staffing arrangements with the new provider. The transition from county control will require state approval and is expected to take up to 18 months. The county-run system is fully funded in the 2011 budget, and the agreement with Home Care of Rochester includes offering positions to county employees.
Source: By CAITLIN TRAYNOR, Dispatch (NY), Monday, November 08, 2010
The message to Madison County’s administration was clear: “Public health care is not for sale.”
Nearly 30 of the county’s CSEA union employees marched down the sidewalks surrounding the county building in protest of the potential sale and privatization of its Certified Home Health Agency. County officials began exploring their options after deficiencies in the home health care and long-term home health care services continued, coupled with financial loss.