Home Healthcare Agencies & Home Care Staffing Employers in NY
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On May 3, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Fiscal Year 2024 New York State Budget (the Budget), which includes significant changes to the home healthcare and home staffing industry.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Budget will reduce the wage parity benefit portion of the home care worker minimum wage from $4.09/hour in New York City to $2.54/hour, and from $3.22/hour in Long Island and Westchester to $1.67/hour. The Budget also creates an annual step plan for increasing minimum wages for home health workers. Specifically, on January 1, 2024, minimum wages will increase to $18.55 for New York City, Long Island, and Westchester (Downstate), and $17.55 for the remainder of the state. On January 1, 2025, minimum wage increases again to $19.10 for Downstate and $18.10 for the remainder of the state. Finally, on January 1, 2026, minimum wage for home health workers is scheduled to increase to $19.65 for Downstate and $18.65 for the remainder of the state.
The Budget also amends Section 3614-f of the Public Health Law by adding a new subsection permitting the NY Department of Health (DOH) to address inquiries requesting records and information concerning wages, compensation, and other benefits to home care aids. Every entity to whom such an inquiry is addressed must respond in writing within 15 business days and may be required to certify that the information provided is accurate. Failure to respond to the NY DOH’s inquiry in the time required will result in the imposition of civil penalties.
Additionally, the Budget revises the Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) oversight standard, providing that each MLTC plan currently authorized to operate in the state must have an active Medicare Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan that has a CMS Quality Star Rating of three stars or higher on or before January 1, 2024. MLTC plans must also demonstrate success in several categories.
Effective August 17, 2023, the Budget amends the Public Health Law to include a new Article 29-K that requires, among other things, that Temporary Health Care Services Agencies (THCSAs) (1) register with the NY DOH on an annual basis; (2) provide full reports of charges and compensation for all services provided; and (3) disclose entire contracts with the health care entities that they service. Under the amended law, THCSAs are defined as a person or entity “in the business of providing or procuring temporary employment of health care personnel for health care entities,” including nurses’ registries and mobile applications or other technology-based platforms to provide temporary placement or procurement of health care personnel. LHCSAs and individuals who only provide their own services on a temporary basis to health care entities are exempt from the definition.
- Prepare to update payroll procedures for changes in wage requirements to ensure compliance with increased minimum wage rates and changes to wage parity benefits.
- Review record retention and maintenance policies to ensure compliance with potential DOH inquiries.
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