Posts Tagged ‘Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute’

Companionship Services Exemption: A Deadline Missed

June 19, 2013

By Jane Gross, Special to The New York Times

Legions of home health aides continue to toil for less than minimum wage, the only American workers not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. More than a month has passed since May 14, when President Obama could have ended this exclusion and, with the stroke of a pen, forced a new regulation into effect. All legal deadlines and extensions in this sclerotic regulatory process have been exhausted. (more…)

Home Care Workers Demand Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections

June 12, 2013

By Elise Viebeck, The Hill

Home care workers are demanding final rules from the Obama administration that would give them federal minimum wage and overtime protections.

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), which represents home health aides, certified nurse aides and personal care attendants, called on President Obama to extend the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act to its members.

The group pointed to Obama’s promise in December 2011 to ensure home health jobs offer the same wage-and-hour standards as other healthcare posts. (more…)

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Finding Skilled Elder Home Care Workers Not Easy

May 30, 2013

Many families plunge into the mysterious universe of elder home care after a hospital stay — often an unexpected one.

Shortly before it’s time to go home, the patient or a relative typically receives a brochure for the hospital’s recommended home health agency, with a brief discussion of the limited rehabilitation services Medicare will cover.

But the family often does not realize that visiting nurses who replace catheters or therapists who monitor exercises are not much help when it comes to what recently hospitalized elders need most: assistance in bathing, dressing or just moving from bed to chair to bathroom.

And they don’t know that their search for these services could involve crippling costs, expose them to the potential for elder fraud, and immerse them in a fast-growing industry where many workers lack the training and skills needed for safe and reliable caregiving.

While most Americans — 89 percent in one survey — say they would prefer to age in place in their own homes, few understand the implications of opening those homes to strangers who can provide the help they need. And surveys show that very few Americans consider the price tag in advance. (more…)

Sarasota Herald Tribune: Nation at Crossroads in Home Care for Elders

May 28, 2013

By , Sarasota Herald Tribune

Chuck and Rosalie Schockweiler need no words as they execute a smoothly choreographed routine in their Englewood home.

He rinses her feeding tube and hands it to her; she shakes it dry and attaches it to a port on her abdomen as he dissolves three pills in water. Chuck fetches her liquid lunch as Rosalie places a plastic receptacle in an ingenious homemade stand that Chuck fashioned from PVC pipe and an old battery charger, weighted “with imported stones from the front yard.”

He pours in the solution, and as she feels it flow into her belly, she smiles — the same glorious, sunny smile he first noticed back when they worked at Venice Regional Medical Center. He chases the meds with a can of liquid nutrition Rosalie must have five times daily, filling the tube and responding to her prompt when it’s time for another pour.

Usually, as Rosalie finishes her meal, Chuck gets himself something to eat and they sit together at the dining table. Then they stand, every single time, for a long, satisfying hug.

It’s a process they repeat about every two and a half hours, with two more feeding sessions for medication alone.

Early in the day, it looks easy. But, Chuck admits, evenings are tougher because his energy flags. (more…)

Legislation Would Modify Definition of “Full-Time Employee” from 30 to 40 Hours in the PPACA

April 30, 2013

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) recently introduced the “Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2013” (S. 701). It would modify the definition of full-time employee (FTE) for purposes of the shared responsibility mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  Starting in 2014, the PPACA imposes a $2,000 employer penalty for each full-time employee – after the first 30 – where the business employs 50 or more full time equivalent employees, does not offer health insurance to all employees, and at least one of the employees qualifies for a federal subsidy to purchase health insurance. The definition of “full-time employee” in the calculation of target employer’s penalty is based upon the total of the number of employees working at least 30 hours a week. (more…)

Home Care Workers Decry Lack of Wage Protection

April 18, 2013

It’s been a few months since President Barack Obama pledged to extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation’s 2.5 million home care workers – but the regs are still bottled up. A group of stakeholders and advocates are tired of waiting – they’re releasing a report and holding a conference call Thursday to push for action. (more…)

Need for In-Home Care Projected to Soar

March 18, 2013

By Ana Veciana-Suarez, The Miami Herald

Every morning for the last seven years, Fanie Occeas has been preparing Prescola Beneby a hearty weekday breakfast — grits and sardines or sausage and eggs. Every morning, too, Occeas bathes the 87-year-old, tidies up her Arcola Lakes house and settles her in a wheelchair.

Their banter is easy, their movements together familiar and sure. “She’s like a daughter to me,” says Beneby.

Adds Occeas, “I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Occeas is a certified nursing assistant who looks in on Beneby and three other homebound seniors during her rounds for her employer, United HomeCare. Beneby is a mother of six, bedridden because of rheumatoid arthritis. The two are part of a trend that experts say will become very common as the nation’s population ages and more seniors choose to stay at home instead of moving to nursing facilities.

The number of people age 65 and older will double to 81 million in the next 30 years and the demand for nonmedical home-based help — for daily activities such as dressing, bathing and meal preparation — is expected to soar. In the past four years alone, there has been a 40 percent growth in U.S. senior care agencies, according to, a company that connects seniors and professional caregivers with care options. More than 4,000 caregivers are hired monthly. (more…)

CNN: Why Grandma’s Aide Earns So Little

March 15, 2013

Act Now - Red ButtonBy Annalyn Kurtz, CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Home health aides are the fastest growing job in America, yet many are not protected by federal minimum wage and overtime laws.

That’s right, people can get away with paying grandma’s aide less than $7.25 an hour.

Why? Congress decided in 1974 to lump home health aides in with casual babysitters under labor laws.

President Obama has been trying to change this recently, but the industry is fighting back. The debate all comes down to the meaning of “companionship.” (more…)

Home Health Aides: In Demand, Yet Paid Little

October 17, 2012

By Jennifer Ludden, National Public Radio

The home care workforce — some 2.5 million strong — is one of the nation’s fastest growing yet also worst paid. Turnover is high, and with a potential labor shortage looming as the baby boomers age, there are efforts to attract more people to the job.

One such effort plays out in a large, sunny room in a Bronx high-rise, where Cooperative Home Care Associates holds an extensive, monthlong training program. On a recent day, two dozen women paired off at rows of hospital beds. As instructors coached them, they took turns lifting each other in a mechanical sling, or gently stretching each other’s limbs, as is commonly done for stroke patients. (more…)

USA Today: Home Health Care is One of the Most Profitable Franchises

May 8, 2012

By Kelly Kennedy, USA Today

WASHINGTON – A new report lists home health care as one of the top five most profitable franchises in the U.S., even as the industry fights new Department of Labor rules calling for mandatory overtime and minimum wage requirements for home health employees.

Franchise Business Review, a market research firm, found that the median amount paid for a new franchise in 2012 was about $66,000, and the “potential return on investment is significantly higher than many other franchise businesses.” (more…)