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Lawmaker airs concern over home care minimum wage funding

Posted 10/1/22

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, has contacted Gov. Kathy Hochul regarding concerns about funds intended to pay for the home care minimum wage increase.

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Lawmaker airs concern over home care minimum wage funding

Posted

UTICA — Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, has contacted Gov. Kathy Hochul regarding concerns about funds intended to pay for the home care minimum wage increase, which was slated to take effect today.

“The $2 per hour minimum wage increase for home healthcare workers is not being distributed as it should,” Buttenschon said in a statement. “Home care agencies and providers are waiting for funding to cover the increase as these additional costs were not included in their budgets.”

“Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plans (MLTCs) have received millions of dollars in increased premiums that are not being reflected in reimbursement rates the various agencies are receiving,” Buttenschon said, but the “Department of Health has failed to hold these MLTCs accountable and the consequences are falling on the much-needed home care agencies within our own communities.”

“A recent survey administered to the Licensed Home Care Service Agencies produced incredibly alarming findings,” Buttenschon said. “More than 50% of agencies reported that NONE of their contracted reimbursement rates are sufficient to cover the cost of service. 75% report that at least 80% of their plans have not increased rates to fully cover the upcoming minimum wage increase. Additionally, on average, respondents rated both their agency’s financial stress and their personal level of concern at an average “9” on a scale of 1-to-10. These are just a few concerns that came out of this survey.”

“It is crucial that the funding intended to pay for home care worker wages, costs to provide care and costs those providers are mandated to pay, must be fully reimbursed,” Buttenschon added. “Without your support, home care agencies can’t continue to serve the patients who rely on them to live safely and independently in their communities. Your intervention is needed to ensure these funds reach the agencies for which they were intended.”

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