SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 57D, the following new section:
(a) The department shall, after a public hearing and in consultation with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, promulgate rules and regulations for the licensing and conduct of a home care aid agency. No home care aide agency shall operate in the Commonwealth without satisfying the conditions of licensure established by this section. For the purpose of this section “home care aide agency” shall mean any business, non-profit or other entity seeking to contract to provide homemaker, personal care homemaker, or home health services in the Commonwealth, whether or not such entity is currently providing such services.
(b) Any process for obtaining a license established by the department shall require an application to be filed by a home care aide agency with the department in which the applicant shall specify:
1) the types of home care or home health services offered by the applicant;
2) the expected service area, including municipality and county names;
3) the structure and operations of an ongoing quality assurance program that complies with all applicable federal and state quality of care standards;
4) a written assurance that it will fully comply with all cost reporting and minimum average employee compensation standards established by state law; and
5) any other requirements as determined by the department.
(c) Any license application submitted by a home care aide agency shall be accompanied by a comprehensive annual cost report. The department in consultation with Executive Office of Elder Affairs, shall determine the contents of such a cost report, provided that the cost report shall at a minimum include a full accounting of annual costs for supplies, labor, and administrative expenses.
(d) The department may establish an application fee in an amount as necessary to administer this licensure program.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Department of Elder Affairs, shall adjust the rates and capitations for home and community-based services providers. Provided that such adjustments shall include no less than a $1,000,000 increase for the Elder Home Care Case Management & Administration program in order to increase capitation rates paid to contracted aging service access points; provided that such adjustments shall also include no less than $6,000,000 for the Elder Home Care Purchased Services program in order to provide a rate add-on for wages and compensation for program personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services; and provided further that no less than $3,000,000 for the MassHealth Senior Care program in order to increase rates for home health aide services for the purpose of providing Title XIX services.
The Department of Elder Affairs, in consultation with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Division of Purchased Services, shall issue new regulations and procedures to implement this section. Such additional regulations and procedures shall mandate full compliance reporting from home care agencies and an audit by the Department of Elder Affairs of the home care agencies receiving these rate add-on funds. That audit shall include a full accounting of the uses of these funds, itemizing spending of the rate add-on funds for hourly rate increases, other categories of worker compensation and other categories of related eligible costs.
The Department of Elder Affairs regulations shall require annual reporting of hourly wage rates and shall limit eligibility for the rate increases provided in this section to home care agencies that meet responsible employer standards established by the Department. Such responsible employer standards shall, at a minimum, require full compliance with all applicable state regulations, including any licensing and financial reporting regulations. Further, such standards shall require that eligible each eligible home care agency pays each of their workers an hourly wage that is at least twenty-five cents per hour higher than the statewide minimum wage.
No later than six months after the effective date of this act, the Department of Elder Affairs shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means an analysis of the impact on the wages for the workforce at the home care agencies receiving said rate adjustments.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in consultation with the Department of Elder Affairs and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Division of Purchased Services shall amend 808 CMR 1.00 to improve and strengthen compliance, reporting, and auditing of home care agencies providing subcontracted home care services in Massachusetts through the state’s Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs). Such amendments shall ensure that, except for a home care agency subcontracting for less than $100,000 annually, all home care agencies contracting with one or more Aging Service Access Points to provide state home care services are mandated to fill out a complete Uniform Financial Report and that no other exemptions to this reporting requirement will be permitted.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Office of the Attorney General, under authority granted under in Section 11N of Chapter 12 of the General Laws to monitor trends in the health care market, may investigate any home care aide agency contracting with Aging Service Access Points to provide homemaker and personal care services through the Massachusetts Home Care program. Further, the attorney general may require that any such agency produce documents, answer interrogatories and provide testimony under oath. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the attorney general to regulate all home care providers or protect home care consumers under any other law.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.