Collaborated with Barbara Citarella of RBC Limited to produce an e-book on Workplace Safety for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19.
Identified a new preferred partner for retirement plans in Mutual of America
Successfully advocated for continuation/expansion of ARPA and Enough Pay to Stay rate add-on investments
Worked with HCA Council and the legislature to translate the recommendations from the Home Care Licensure Commission into a legislative bill
Successfully advocated for inclusion of a $13.5M Home Health Student Loan Repayment program and $16.5M workforce development grant program as part of the legislature’s initiative to appropriate American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Worked with the MHA Post-Acute Care Transitions workgroup on COVID and capacity issues across the continuum.
Increased frequency of Clinical Director and Quality Improvement Group meetings to monthly.
Testified at the MassHealth Hearing regarding the proposed Hospice Regulations, requesting a number of changes and clarifications to the regulations as proposed, as well as urging MassHealth to conduct provider education about the revised regulations.
Established an Infectious Disease Management Group/Listserv and hosted an educational meeting , and Hospice Infection Control Expert presenting Infection Prevention and Control COVID Update.
Since the onset of the pandemic and the declarations of federal and state emergencies, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts shifted much of its attention and resources to COVID-19-related membership support. To that end, the Alliance:
Distributed donated PPE valued at over $150,000 through multiple distributions of free hand-sanitizer, gloves, gowns, face shields, and other PPE through a partnership with the Massachusetts Health & Hospitals Association and offered PPE at a competitive group discount price through our partnership with American Advertising Specialties.
Published 50 special member newsletters devoted exclusively to COVID topics – issued daily during the height of the public health emergency.
Worked with the Betsey Lehman Center on a PPE video series specific to home care and prepared an accompanying CEU PowerPoint and test for agencies to use alongside the video, including: Don/Doff PPE, Infection Control in the Home, and Video Pre/Post Test with Answers.
Developed two educational flyers on COVID for members to leave in the homes of clients/patients. The “Safe Holiday” flyer encouraged safe social distancing during holiday celebrations, and the “Wear Your Mask” brochure reinforced safety with patient families when a home care worker was in the house. The “Wear Your Mask” brochure was also translated into Spanish.
Advocated on social media when home care was excluded from the first round of health care worker vaccines. This generated more than 150 tweets (from over 40 accounts) and resulted in Governor Baker recognizing home care at a press event and moving up vaccine access date.
Worked with the MHA Post-Acute Care Transitions workgroup on a universal pre-discharge COVID testing protocol.
Offered regular calls for CEOs of certified and private care agencies to share and learn from each other, as well as calls for clinical directors, HR mangers, and hospice directors.
Secured the continuation (post-COVID) State of Emergency of Medicaid coverage of telehealth visits.
Answered hundreds of member regulatory questions related to the pandemic.
Hosted a COVID-19 Resource page that includes Allied member COVID resource services and that generated more than 6,500 unique page views.
Other 2020-2021 Work
Among the member supportive services over the past twelve months, the Alliance and Foundation have:
Succeeding in passing a FY 21 budget request for $17 million in money for home health aides and homemakers.
Helped to establish, and was appointed to, a commission to create a framework for licensure of private home care for the state Legislature to consider.
Completely revamped both our Find-an-Agency and our Allied member online directories with more information per company, and in a more readily accessible, clearer format.
Hosted dozens of member webinars , such as: Paid Family Medical Leave Benefit, the Medicare Home Infusion Benefit, Payroll Protection Loans, ICD-10 Comprehensive Coding
Worked with Mass EOEA on a plan for EVV roll out
Worked with MassHealth on rewriting home health program regulations.
The Alliance’s 2012 Annual report This We Know For Sure is now available for digital download from our website. Learn about both the Alliance’s vision for the future, and help us celebrate this past year’s successes, including:
Work on Wage and Hour Issues, especially those related to overtime and live-in care;
Development of new programs through the Foundation for Home Health, including an interactive video presentation on the “Art of the Home Care Admission Visit,” as well as trainings for ICD-9-CM coding and OASIS–C.
Sponsorship of a Western Mass RWJ grant on developing a care transitions curriculum for nurses.
Assistance in navigating changes to the CORI process and new parameters around free access for agencies with state contracts;
Expansion of the Boston Parking Placard Program;
Redesign of the Resource Directory and “Find an Agency” web search;
Revamp of the Agency Accreditation Program
Leadership on proposals to reject efforts to impose a co-payment on Medicare home health;
Negotiation a significant change in state Medicaid policy in delaying any TPL recoupments;
Plans to revise and dovetail the Home Health Universal Authorization Form;
Sponsorship of Lobby Day to bring members together with legislators to advance telehealth, changes to nurse delegation practices and a state certificate of need process; and
Assembled and distributed a series of “Keeping It Legal” policy statements on Patient Choice, Illegal Inducements and the Medicare Face to Face Rules;