With the Jan. 1, 2015, effective date for the U.S. Department of Labor final rule extending minimum wage and overtime benefits to most home care workers fast approaching, 2 federal agencies issued a letter directed primarily at state Medicaid agencies urging them to plan appropriately.
Citing the Ebola scare and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin outlining the rules for sharing patient privacy information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule during emergency situations.
In accordance with a final
rule published in September, there will be a change to what covered employers
are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) beginning on Jan. 1, 2015.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015,
workers who provide companionship services to the elderly and who are employed
by home care or other third-party agencies will be entitled to the minimum wage
and overtime protections afforded by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) under a
final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Sept. 17.
The period of time for hospices to qualify for an "extraordinary circumstance" exemption when they believe the nursing shortage has affected their ability to hire sufficient numbers of nurses directly has been extended until Sept. 30, 2016, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).