Policy Matters

Lawmakers have asked for NAHC's help in urging more lawmakers to sign the letter

September 25, 2014

Last Thursday, Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) began circulating a letter that asks the Secretary of Labor to delay the effective date (January 1, 2015) of the new companionship exemption rule. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have since added their names to the letter.

The Senators have asked for NAHC’s help is garnering support for the letter and the proposed delay in the companionship exemption rule. Please urge your Senators to sign on the Johanns/Alexander letter seeking a delay in the implementation of the new companionship rule. A copy of the letter and an informative one-pager are available for download at the bottom of this article.

For contact information, please click here: Contact Your Elected Officials. When calling, ask the receptionist to connect you with the staffer who handles labor issues. If the staffers say they have not seen the letter, offer to forward it to them.

Time is of the essence as signatures of support are due to Ally Mendenhall in Senator Johanns’ office by early Friday morning of this week to be included on the Johanns/Alexander letter which will be sent to the Secretary of Labor on Friday.

NAHC has been receiving indications that the Department of Labor may be seriously considering a delay in the companionship services/live-in rule changes. The potential for a delay is mainly due to the Medicaid concerns raised by the National Association of Medicaid Directors and the National Council on Disability.

A major effort to get signers on to the Senator Johanns letter might help to sway the Department of Labor. NAHC recognizes that the rule change will not have the same effect in all states given that some have already eliminated the exemption. However, NAHC is unaware of any state that has eliminated the “live-in domestic services” exemption.

The support to date has come only from Republican senators. It is expected that this will continue.

It would be greatly appreciated if NAHC members could encourage their Senate offices to sign on.

To view the letter, please click here.

To view the one-pager, please click here.

Member Spotlight: Hospice of Northwest Ohio: Advocacy in Action

Reaching out to state legislators is more important than ever for them to see the impact of care provided to Ohioans and the need to protect and serve. During August, Hospice of Northwest Ohio reached out to Congressman Latta (R-OH) requesting his assistance to help aid in the care provided to local veterans through their hospice. What began with a letter quickly turned into a visit from the Congressman to the inpatient facility in Perrsyburg where he learned about the true care provided by hospice. Below is a highlight of advocacy activities by Hospice of Northwest Ohio staff. CONGRATULATIONS Judy and staff on your advocacy efforts!

Dave and Tammy Woleslagel on couch at left were delighted to talk about their family’s hospice experiences with Congressman Latta Judy Seibenick and Libby Troutman Congressman Latta enjoyed a lively conversation with Margaret Lovelly a hospice home care patient temporarily staying at our inpatient center for respite care Libby Troutman left Judy Seibenick and Congressman Latta

8-1-14  Judy Seibenick, President/CEO of Hospice of Northwest Ohio, sent Congressman Latta a letter requesting assistance in obtaining a contract with Ann Arbor VA to serve local Veterans in their inpatient units instead of them having to transfer to Ann Arbor or Detroit.  They received a positive response from this letter and his office was contacting Ann Arbor and is looking into this matter.

8-4-14  Libby Troutman (Social Worker) and Gina Kasch (Volunteer Coordinator)  met with Ryan Mack, Veteran’s Legislative Aide.  The visit went very well and Mr. Mack was given a tour and learned about the We Honor Veteran’s program and shared ideas on how to serve our veterans.

8-13-14  Congressman Latta and his aide, Melissa Short, visited the Perrysburg Inpatient Unit.  He met with President/CEO, Judy Seibenick and Libby Troutman, Social Worker.  Judy Lang (marketing) was also present and their wonderful dog, Juno, joined in the visit for a short time.   The Congressman was given a tour as Hospice of Northwest Ohio staff talked about their program and about Hospice services in general.  They were able to answer many detailed questions about pain management, the Hospice team, cost savings of hospice care,serving Veterans and more.  Congressman Latta had a very good conversation with a patient’s son & daughter-in-law and a conversation with another patient in her room here. (highlighted in the photos above)

NAHC and Affiliates- Complete 2014 Legislative/Regulatory Agenda

Each year the policy staffs of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliates develop agendas for legislative and regulatory activities in the coming year. The process of compiling the 2014 Legislative and Regulatory Blueprints for Action and Legislative Priorities has been completed.

With potential big changes on the legislative and regulatory horizon for this year on Capitol Hill, NAHC, HAA, and the Medicaid Council are planning ahead as always with strategies to protect the continued viability of home care and hospice. Please take some time to review the 2014 blueprints and legislative priorities below.  The NAHC Legislative Priorities document will be printed in a booklet that will be distributed to all Congressional offices before the upcoming NAHC March on Washington, March 23-26. 

To view NAHC and its affiliated organization’s Legislative Priorities, please click here.

To view the Legislative Blueprint for Action, please click here.

To view the Regulatory Blueprint for Action, please click here.