While the Country worries about Sequestration, a new Government Policy may force Seniors and Disabled into Nursing Homes

Home Care Industry marches on Washington to keep Private In-Home Care affordable

FEBRUARY 26, 2013, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Private Care Association (PCA), the voice of private duty home care since 1977, is participating in a “Congressional Fly-In” in Washington, D.C. On February 26th and 27th, PCA members will meet with U.S. Senators and Representatives and advocate in favor of preserving the Companionship Services Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) so that seniors can continue to afford private in-home care and remain in their homes as they age.

Currently, national rates for in-home care average approximately $20/hour. If the government repeals the Companionship Services Exemption, seniors could see these costs rise to $30/hour.

As it stands today, the Companionship Services Exemption allows a caregiver to care for one senior or disabled individual for an extended period of time without the senior/disabled having to be charged overtime. The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its intention to finalize new regulations that will narrow the Companionship Services Exemption by April 2013. 

Narrowing this exemption will have a negative impact on both those individuals who rely on in-home care to remain independent and on the caregivers themselves. The PCA, on behalf of the private duty home care industry, cites four negative outcomes if the labor laws are changed and seniors or disabled are required to pay overtime rates for the care they receive over 40 hours per week, including:            

1. Seniors or the disabled would be unable to afford to pay for home care on their own, causing them to rely more heavily on government-funded nursing homes and/or Medicaid support. This puts a strain on both personal and government funds.

2. The caregivers themselves will struggle to meet the amount of hours they are used to working each week (and earn less as an outcome) because home care agencies will limit their schedules to under 40 hours because they can’t afford to pay overtime.

3. The quality of care that seniors, who are often quite resistant to having to orient many caregivers as to their care needs, receive and their relationships with their caregivers will be negatively affected by having multiple caregivers in/out of their home

4. The growing private home care industry will be crippled during this time of economic recovery

During the Congressional fly-in, the PCA will hold meetings designed to educate legislators on the current status of the Companionship Services Exemption and the consequences that will occur should the exemption be repealed. 

In addition to their lobbying efforts with legislators in the nation’s capitol, the PCA is encouraging the public to visit its website, www.privatecare.org, where those interested can learn more about this issue and download a form letter to send to their Congressperson in support of preserving the Companionship Services Exemption. 

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Contact on behalf of Private Care Association:

Amy Ferguson 504-343-7536 or amy@fergusonfreelance.com

Meri Monsour 504-484-3442 or meri@hmadvertising.com

Since 1977,the Private Care Association (PCA) has been the voice of private duty home care. PCA's membership is made up of home care registries that refer self-employed caregivers to provide assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, lifting/transferring, continence care, feeding/meal preparation, companion care, homemaker services and nursing services in the client's home. The PCA has an involved government relations program that actively presents its position to public policymakers at the state and federal levels. As the national voice for home care registries, the PCA continues to expand its membership and develop a greater capability to promote the interests of the private duty home care industry, advocating the consumer-directed model of care, and consumer choice. www.PrivateCare.org

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Quick facts

Currently, national rates for in-home care average approximately $20/hour. If the government repeals the Companionship Services Exemption, seniors could see these costs rise to $30/hour.
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The Private Care Association (PCA) is participating in a “Congressional Fly-In” in Washington, D.C. on February 26th and 27th to advocate in favor of preserving the Companionship Services Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) so that seniors can continue to afford private in-home care and remain in their homes as they age.
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As it stands today, the Companionship Services Exemption allows a caregiver to care for one senior or disabled individual for an extended period of time without the senior/disabled having to be charged overtime. Narrowing this exemption will have a negative impact on both those individuals who rely on in-home care to remain independent and on the caregivers themselves.
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