Executive Order: 2015-05 – Participant-Directed Home Care Services

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Office

Subject: Participant-Directed Home Care Services
Number: 2015-05
By Direction of: Tom Wolf, Governor

WHEREAS,     the administration is committed to ensuring that Pennsylvania residents have access to quality home care services; and

WHEREAS,     direct care workers are individuals who provide vital home care services to Pennsylvania’s seniors and people with disabilities who require assistance; and

WHEREAS,     without assistance from direct care workers who are paid through various programs administered by the Department of Human Services through its Office of Long Term Living, these residents otherwise would require institutional care, such as that provided in a nursing home; and

WHEREAS,     residents who are consumers of in-home personal care services must maintain the right to select and direct the daily work of direct care workers who provide services through the programs administered by the Department of Human Services; and

WHEREAS,     the average cost of providing in-home personal care services is typically much less than the cost of care provided in nursing homes or similar institutional settings, and Pennsylvania’s home care services programs therefore save the Commonwealth millions of dollars per year; and

WHEREAS,     the demand for direct home care services is expected to rise in the coming years in light of Pennsylvania’s aging population; and

WHEREAS,     the quality of life for Pennsylvania’s seniors and people with disabilities is significantly improved by the option of received self-directed in-home care services; and

WHEREAS,     direct care workers typically earn low wages and receive no benefits, paid time off, or standardized training; and

WHEREAS,     as a result, the pool of direct care workers available for consumers of in-home care services in Pennsylvania suffers from high turnover and inconsistent quality; and

WHEREAS,     reform of the Commonwealth’s home care programs requires careful consideration of its economic impact and must ensure Pennsylvania’s right to receive the maximum amount of federal funds to which it is entitled and, therefore, should be informed by input from all interested stakeholders; and

WHEREAS,    the administration believes there is a need to improve both the quality of home care and the working conditions of direct care workers and that these two goals are related;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Thomas W. Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby direct the following:

 

1.  Definitions.  As used in this Executive Order, the following definitions shall apply:

a.  “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

b.  “Deputy Secretary” means the Deputy Secretary of Human Services for Long Term Living.

c.  “Direct Care Worker” means a person who provides Participant-Directed Services in a Participant’s home under a Home Care Service Program.

d.  “Direct Care Worker List” means a monthly list compiled at the direction of and maintained by the Department of the names and addresses of all Direct Care Workers who have within the previous three (3) months been paid through a Home Care Service Program that provides Participant-Directed Services.  The list shall specify the program through which each Direct Care Worker is paid, but nothing that would identify the name of any participant.

e.  “Direct Care Worker Representative” means the designated representative elected according to the procedure outlined in Paragraph 3.

f.  “Home Care Service Programs” means the following programs administered by OLTL, and any successor program:

(1)   The Aging Waiver Program.

(2)   The Attendant Care Waiver Program.

(3)   The CommCare Waiver Program.

(4)   The Independence Waiver Program.

(5)   The OBRA Waiver Program.

(6)   The Act 150 Program.

g.  “OLTL” means the Department’s Office of Long Term Living.

h.  “Participant” means a person who receives services from a Direct Care Worker under a Home Care Service Program.

i.   “Participant-Directed Services” means personal assistance services, respite, and Participant-Directed community supports or similar types of services provided to a senior or a person with a disability who requires assistance and wishes to hire, terminate, direct and supervise the provision of such care pursuant to the Home Care Service Programs, provided now and in the future, to (i) meet such person’s daily living needs, (ii) ensure such person may adequately function in such person’s home, and (iii) provide such person with safe access to the community.  Participant-Directed Services does not include any care provided by a worker employed by an agency as defined by Section 802.1 of the Health Care Facilities Act (35 P.S. § 448.802a).

j.   “Secretary” means the Secretary of Human Services.

2.  Advisory Group on Participant-Directed Home Care.  There is hereby established an Advisory Group to ensure the quality of long-term Participant-Directed Home Care that shall be known as the Governor’s Advisory Group on Participant-Directed Home Care.  The Advisory Group shall advise the Governor’s Office and executive branch agencies and offices of the Commonwealth (including the Department) on ways to improve the quality of care delivered through the Home Care Services Programs.

a.  The Advisory Group shall be composed of seven (7) members, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.  The seven members shall include the Secretary, or a designee (who shall serve as chairperson of the Advisory Group), and the Deputy Secretary, or a designee.  The remaining five (5) members of the Advisory Group shall be appointed by the Governor, and will include both participants or their surrogates and advocates for seniors and people with disabilities.

b.  Commencing no later than June 30, 2015, the Advisory Group shall meet at least quarterly to study and discuss the experiences and best practices of other states that administer similar programs to provide Participant-Directed Home Care Services.  In particular, the Advisory Group shall review the following subjects:

(1)   Establishment and maintenance of policies, practices and procedures designed to ensure that the Commonwealth continues its efforts to reduce the numbers of Pennsylvania residents currently on waiting lists to receive services through the Home Care Service Programs.

(2)   Evaluation of the work of OLTL so as to ensure that the program standards of the Home Care Service Programs are being met as they apply to the provision of Participant-Directed Services.  However, the Advisory Group shall not be allowed to review the activities of the Department pertaining to pending reviews and investigations that involve potential fraud or criminal conduct, unless the information is publicly available.

 

(3)   Establishment and maintenance of policies, practices and procedures designed to ensure that the Commonwealth continues its efforts to rebalance resources for long term care services from institutional care to home and community based services.

(4)   Establishment and maintenance of policies, practices and procedures designed to ensure that the Commonwealth continues to adhere to the principles of participant-direction, independent living and consumer choice.

(5)   Any other issues that the Governor may deem appropriate.

3.  Direct Care Worker Representative.  The Secretary shall recognize a representative for the Direct Care Workers for the purpose of discussing issues of mutual concern through a meet and confer process.

a.  Election Process.  The Secretary shall designate the American Arbitration Association to conduct an election and certify the election outcome, pursuant to the following process:

(1)   An election shall be conducted to designate a representative when an organization seeking to be so designated presents signed authorization cards to the Governor, or his designee, demonstrating that at least ten (10%) percent of the providers identified on the most recent Direct Care Worker List (as described below) choose to be represented by such organization.

(2)   All Direct Care Workers identified on the most recent Direct Care Worker List (at the time the election is requested) shall be eligible to vote in an election.  If the majority of votes cast in the election are for the petitioning organization, the American Arbitration Association shall certify the election results, and the Secretary shall recognize the organization as the Direct Care Worker Representative.  There shall only be one Direct Care Worker Representative recognized at any time.

(3)   The recognized Direct Care Worker Representative shall continue to act as such for so long as such organization complies with its responsibilities concerning representation of Direct Care Workers.  Direct Care Workers who wish to remove the Direct Care Worker Representative shall seek such removal in accordance with the election process set forth in this Order.  Direct Care Workers may not seek such removal earlier than one (1) year after the organization is recognized as the Direct Care Worker Representative.

b.  Meet and Confer Process.  The Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and the Direct Care Worker Representative shall meet and confer to address concerns of Direct Care Workers and ways to improve the quality of care provided under the Home Care Services Programs.

(1)   The Secretary, the Deputy Secretary and the Direct Care Worker Representative shall meet at least monthly, on mutually agreeable dates and times.

(2)   The Secretary, the Deputy Secretary and the Direct Care Worker Representative shall discuss relevant issues, including the following:

(a)  The quality and availability of Participant-Directed Services in the Commonwealth, within the framework of principles of participant-direction, independent living and consumer choice.

(b)   The improvement of the recruitment and retention of qualified Direct Care Workers.

(c)  The development of a Direct Care Worker registry or worker-participant matching service to provide routine, emergency and respite referrals of qualified Direct Care Workers to participants who are authorized to receive long-term, in-home care services under one of the Home Care Service Programs.

(d)   Standards for compensating Direct Care Workers, including wage ranges, health care benefits, retirement benefits and paid time off.

(e)   Commonwealth payment procedures related to the Home Care Services Programs.

(f)   Development of an orientation program for Direct Care Workers working in a Home Care Services Program.

(g)   Training and professional development opportunities for Direct Care Workers.

(h)   Voluntary payroll deductions for Direct Care Workers.

(3)   The Direct Care Worker Representative shall have the opportunity to meet with the Governor, or his designee, at least once annually to discuss the outcome of the meet and confer sessions with the Secretary.

c.  Memorandum of Mutual Understanding.

(1)    Mutual understandings reached during the meet and confer process shall be reduced to writing.  Where appropriate, and with the approval of the Governor, understandings reached through the meet and confer process will be implemented as the policy of the Department related to Direct Care Workers providing Participant-Directed Services.  If any such mutual understanding requires legislation or rulemaking, the Direct Care Worker Representative may make recommendations for legislation or rulemaking to the relevant body.

(2)   Nothing in this Executive Order shall compel the parties to reach mutual understandings.

(3)   In the event the parties are unable to reach mutual understandings, the Governor or a designee will convene a meeting of the parties to understand their respective positions and attempt to resolve the issues of disagreement.

4.  Direct Care Worker List.

a.   The Secretary shall compile a list each month of the names and addresses of all Direct Care Workers (“DCW List”) who, within the previous three (3) months, have been paid through a Home Care Service Program that provides Participant-Directed Services.  The DCW List shall specify every program through which each Direct Care Worker was paid.  However, the DCW List shall not include the name of any participant, any designation that a Direct Care Worker is a relative of a participant, or any designation that the Direct Care Worker’s home address is the same as a participant’s address.

b.  An employee organization that has as one of its primary purposes the representation of direct care workers in their relations with the Commonwealth or other public entities may petition the Secretary to represent a particular unit of Direct Care Workers.

c.  Upon a showing made to the Secretary by an employee organization described in Subparagraph 4.b. that at least 50 Direct Care Workers support the organization’s petition to provide representation, the Secretary within seven (7) days shall provide to the organization the most recent DCW List, and, for an additional six (6) months thereafter, upon request shall supply subsequent monthly lists.

d.  Any vendor or contractor that provides financial management services for the Commonwealth in connection with any Home Care Service Program shall assist and cooperate with the Department in compiling and maintaining the DCW List.  The Secretary shall ensure that all existing and future contracts with vendors or contractors providing financial management services for the Commonwealth require the fiscal intermediary to cooperate in the creation and maintenance of the DCW List.

5.  No Change to Existing Rights and Relationships.

a.  Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to limit communication between or among Commonwealth employees, representatives of employee associations, the heads of executive branch agencies, and the Governor.  The provisions of this Executive Order shall not be construed or interpreted to diminish any rights, responsibilities, powers or duties of individual employees in their service to the Commonwealth.  Further, the provisions of this Executive Order shall not diminish or infringe upon any rights, responsibilities, powers or duties conferred upon any officer or agency by the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

b.  Nothing in this Executive Order shall be interpreted to grant Direct Care Workers the status of Commonwealth employees.  The provisions of this Executive Order shall not be construed or interpreted to create collective bargaining rights or a collective bargaining agreement under any federal or state law.

c.  Nothing in this Executive Order or in any Memorandum of Mutual Understanding that may be reached hereunder shall alter the unique relationship between the individual participants and Direct Care Workers.  Participants shall retain the rights to select, hire, terminate and supervise a Direct Care Worker.  This Executive Order is not intended to grant any right, or to imply that Direct Care Workers have any right, to engage in a strike or other collective cessation of the delivery of services.

d.  Nothing in this Executive Order, or in any Memorandum of Mutual Understanding that is reached hereunder, shall alter the rights of Direct Care Workers, including the right to become a member of a labor organization or to refrain from becoming a member of labor organization.

e.  In accordance with all applicable federal and Commonwealth laws, all existing or future vendors or contractors providing financial management services for the Commonwealth shall refrain from interfering with a Direct Care Worker’s decision to join or refrain from joining a labor organization.

f.   This Executive Order and any Memorandum of Mutual Understanding reached hereunder shall not be interpreted to require a Direct Care Worker to support a labor organization in any way.

g.  Nothing in this Executive Order, or in any Memorandum of Mutual Understanding that is reached thereunder, shall limit a Direct Care Worker’s ability, individually or in concert with others, to petition the Commonwealth regarding any issue of concern.

6.  Cooperation by Commonwealth Agencies.  Agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction shall take all steps necessary to implement the provisions of this Executive Order.

7.  Effect and Duration.  This Executive Order shall be effective immediately and remain in effect untilamended or rescinded by the Governor.

Attached File:  2015-05.pdf