Federal Advanced Aide Bill Introduced

December 8, 2016

Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) has introduced a bill to develop and test advanced roles for direct care workers who provide long-term services and supports.

The Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens through Workforce Advancement Act of 2016 would establish six demonstration projects that focus on new models for care coordination and service delivery.

Two demonstration projects would be focused in each of the following areas:

  • Transitions in care and prevention of unnecessary hospital readmissions
  • Maintaining and improving the health of individuals with chronic conditions and long-term care needs
  • Training direct care workers to take on greater responsibilities related to clients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

The legislation is specifically intended to provide career advancement opportunities for direct care workers through additional training, expanded roles, and increased compensation.

In a press release announcing the bill, Rep. Cartwright noted that in his home state of Pennsylvania, older citizens account for more than 15 percent of the population and that direct care workers are one of the fastest-growing workforces.

Speaking in support of the bill, PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon said, “This bill recognizes the untapped potential of the direct care workforce to improve care and lower costs within new care coordination models. With adequate training, compensation, and support, a newly created ‘advanced aide’ position could support health promotion, better chronic care management, and care transitions, resulting in less institutionalization and fewer re-hospitalizations.”

-- by Karen Kahn, PHI Communications Director

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