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What you need to know: EOHHS Update

Council Offers Testimony at DLS Hearing

Monday, August 4, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Gurgone
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On July 22nd, Council Executive Director Lisa Gurgone offered testimony at the Department of Labor Standards (DLS) hearing on new proposed regulations to their Employment Agency and Temporary Workers Right To Know Regulations, 429 CMR 10.00.  

 

Through these proposed regulations, the DLS has updated the definition of a “domestic employee” as being a worker performing work of a domestic nature who is paid directly by a household or a family.  As summarized in their explanation document, “The consequence of this definition is that businesses that directly employ workers for domestic service are excluded from licensure or registration requirements. For example, a home care agency which directly employs, assigns, and manages its workers to service the needs of the business’ clientele is not “providing domestic employees” under M.G.L. c. 140, sec. 46A-46R, and is not regulated by the Employment Agency Statute. The definition of a domestic employee also excludes a licensed medical professional, such as a medical doctor, registered or licensed practical nurse, or similarly trained and licensed individual who performs services relating to the delivery of specialized medical care.”  

As previously reported, the Council met with DLS to discuss the impact of these proposed regulations on home care providers beginning last fall. During her remarks this week, Gurgone explained that while the Council supports the proposed change to the regulations, we look forward to working with the Department to address two primarily concerns raised by our members.  

First of all, we explained that some home care agencies that accept long-term care insurance have been using the Registration Numbers issued by DLS to satisfy the request of insurers.  This past winter, the Council discussed this issue with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI) and was informed that the Massachusetts regulations regarding long-term care insurance do not require home care agencies to provide license or registration numbers to insurance companies.  The Council looks forward to continuing to work with the DLS and DOI to strategize on ways to clarify this issue throughout the home care and insurance markets. Secondly, the Council expressed concern felt by many throughout the industry that Massachusetts should consider ways to monitor the quality of care provided by home care agencies offering private pay services only to consumers.  The Council expressed our interest in working with our allies, including the DLS, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Department of Public Health, the Home Care Alliance and the ASAP network, to strategize solutions to address these concerns.  

DLS will consider all written and verbal testimony submitted as these hearing and hopes to issue their final regulations in the late fall.  More information on these proposed regulations can be found on the Council’s website at: DLS Regulations


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