CPC Statement on Home Care Rally and Report
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Date: January 12th, 2022
Contact: Wayne Ho, President and CEO | (212) 941-0920 x 143 | email@example.com
CPC Statement on Home Care Rally and Report
New York, NY – The Chinese-American Planning Council Inc. (CPC) has no choice but to point out the lies, untruths, and distortions that are being said by the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign and Assembly Member Ron Kim about its subsidiary Chinese-American Planning Council Home Attendant Program Inc. (CPCHAP) in the provision of critical, life-saving home care services to Medicaid patients, who cannot afford such services otherwise. CPCHAP has no choice but to provide home care by following New York State Medicaid rules and requirements, as well as Department of Labor laws, court decisions, and union agreements. We have long called for the State to replace 24-hour home care cases with two 12-hour split shifts, which would be best for both workers and patients. This requires changes to State labor law and Medicaid funding rates.
Like the other hundreds of nonprofit home care agencies around the State, Medicaid funding rules prevent CPCHAP from doing this on our own without committing Medicaid fraud or abandoning our patients, who are older adults and disabled people. The State has determined and enforced 24-hour cases since the 1970s. Home care regulations and compensation are determined by the State, contracted by the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), and backed by the Court of Appeals decision and 1199SEIU union agreements. Home care agencies do not, and cannot, determine these regulations and compensation. Home care agencies do not have the authority to end 24-hour cases because of these regulations and the Patients’ Bill of Rights. The State decides on the authorization of converting 24-hour cases into two 12-hour split shifts.
We are committed to doing right by our workers, and we have been pushing for a swift resolution to the arbitration (and had previously attempted to settle in 2018) and permanent reform for all home care workers. Our founders were union members, and we have long been a proud union shop. We recognize that our home care workers democratically elected 1199SEIU to be their representative and advocate, and we respect all clauses of the member-ratified collective bargaining agreement, including the union grievance process which consists of resolution, mediation, and arbitration. CPCHAP is among the over 40 home care agencies involved in over 140 lawsuits that 1199SEIU decided to bring into arbitration on behalf of their workers.
Rather than attack a high-road employer like CPCHAP that consistently passes audits on worker compensation by the State and City and that was the first nonprofit home care agency advocating for systemic reform for both home care workers and patients, the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign organizers should be truthful about how 24-hour home care cases work in New York State, and Assembly Member Ron Kim should use the power and reach of his State position to effect the necessary change at the State level if he cared about home care workers.
Given our years of working amicably and collaboratively with Assembly Member Kim, we were surprised to learn about his report second hand through a reporter and to see him speak at the press conference organized by the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign. We would have preferred to have this conversation directly with his office, but we are forced to respond in public. We will fully respond to the report after we have had the opportunity to review it. In the meantime, we encourage elected officials, advocates, providers, workers, and patients to ask themselves and to ask Assembly Member Kim the following questions:
1. Why did he release a report without fact checking with us or reaching out to discuss these issues?
2. Why has he not taken action or responded when we have requested his help converting our 24-hour cases into 12-hour split shifts?
3. Why does he focus solely on CPCHAP when we have less than 0.5% of the 11,000 24-hour cases statewide (and have requested split shift authorization on existing cases), instead of focusing on solving this issue for all workers statewide? CPCHAP has approximately 3,000 total home care cases, 49 of which are 24-hour cases.
4. Why did he not do anything about 24-hour home care cases after we have been meeting with him to address our concerns about this issue for many years?
5. Why did he not do anything about 24-hour home care cases after he invited us to brief the Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force in 2020?
6. Why did he sign the pledge condemning us weeks after having us facilitate his Caucus Weekend workshop on home care in February 2021 during which he commended us for our advocacy efforts on home care?
7. Why does he support the claims made by the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign organizers who called the sponsor of legislation that would end 24-hour cases, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein "white trash", and who bully Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, his former chief of staff and the only Assembly Member who has written letters each year to legislative leaders about reforming 24-hour home care?
8. Why did he wait until the end of the legislative session in June 2021 to sign on as a sponsor of the Epstein bill when the bill has been active for years?
9. Why has he, as Chair of the Aging Committee, never held a hearing on 24-hour home care? CPC has presented at the Senate Aging Committee hearing on these issues.
10. Why does he, as someone who has an oversight role over the State Medicaid program, assume that a 100% Medicaid-funded organization like CPCHAP can settle back wages in the same way that for-profit agencies which have not followed compensation rules and which have their own revenue streams can?
11. Why does he claim that CPCHAP has violated the Home Care Wage Parity Act, Minimum Wage Act, and other Medicaid rules when every audit by the State, HRA, MCOs, and independent firms have confirmed that we are in full compliance? All other home care agencies that recently settled are for-profit, are not unionized, and have actual violations of compensation rules.
12. Why has he not referred the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign organizers’ allegations of CPCHAP threatening workers with litigation and jail to the DA’s Office if he believed these accusations were true? We reserve our own right to file legal actions for slander or libel against any party making up these lies.
The NYS Department of Health, via Medicaid funding through the NYC Human Resources Administration and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), assigns 24-hour live-in care for patients with acute needs. However, according to the NYS Department of Labor, Medicaid only pays for 13 hours of these shifts, assuming eight unpaid sleep hours and three unpaid meal hours. Because CPCHAP is a 100% Medicaid funded agency, the State provides for 13 hours of reimbursement for each 24-hour case, which is then provided directly to the home care worker. When home care workers have interruptions, CPCHAP has implemented an easy-to-use system for compensating our home care workers for those interruptions, which is not reimbursed. In fact, CPCHAP paid $2.7 million for overtime, interruptions, transportation, and other compensation, which was not reimbursed by Medicaid and which led to a $2.4 million deficit last fiscal year.
CPCHAP has earned a reputation as a “go to” preferred agency among home care workers because we uphold the rights and dignity of each of our workers and because we provide their preferred shifts to the extent that caseload and Medicaid allow. On average, our home care workers have been with CPCHAP for 5-10 years, and 80% of our workers have previously been employed by other home care agencies. In a recent survey, our home care workers rated CPCHAP as 8 out of 10 in their satisfaction and reported that they are highly satisfied with CPCHAP because we reimburse for time that other agencies do not. Reflecting the sentiments of a true representation of CPCHAP home care workers, one wrote the following, “I’ve worked for this agency since 2017, and I can honestly say this has been the best company that I have ever worked for and with. They treat everyone like family and they do not discriminate. No matter your age, race, or gender, this agency makes you feel like you’re part of their growing process and family.”
The 13-hour rule, or only paying for 13 hours of a 24-hour live-in shift, is unsustainable and unfair to home care workers, who deserve to be fully compensated for every hour in their patients’ homes. CPCHAP is in full support of ending our 24-hour shifts and providing two 12-hour split shifts going forward and would do so ourselves if we could; however, despite our best attempts, we have been unsuccessful because of State policies and Medicaid regulations. That is why we have requested intervention from legislators and have been advocating on these issues since 2017.
As the State legislative session is starting, we will continue to work with allies, workers, and patients to advocate for the Governor and State Legislature to end 24-hour shifts and to ensure Fair Pay for Home Care, which will build a just and caring economy in New York State. We are doing all we can to do right by home care workers, serve clients, and reform the Medicaid system. We hope that the Ain’t I a Woman Campaign and Assembly Member Kim do the same.