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New York Gov. Cuomo Proposes Advanced Position for Home Health Aides

June 9, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on June 3 introduced a bill that would create an “advanced aide” position for home health aides.

Specifically, the bill (pdf) would “establish a program for ‘advanced home health aides’ (AHHAs) who would be authorized to perform advanced tasks with appropriate training and supervision,” according to a memorandum (pdf) that accompanied the bill.

The bill would amend New York’s Nurse Practice Act to allow advanced aides to administer “routine or prefilled medications” to consumers.

It would task the state Department of Education and Department of Health with establishing the “qualifications, training, and competency requirements for AHHAs.”

Advanced aides would be identified as such in New York’s Home Care Services Worker Registry.

The idea of an advanced aide position in New York was initially recommended in 2011 by New York’s Medicaid Redesign Team‘s Workforce Flexibility and Change of Scope of Practice Work Group.

A provision creating an advanced aide position was included in Cuomo’s 2013-2014 state budget proposal, and offered again as an amendment to the 2014-2015 state budget.

Several roles for advanced aides in home care was the topic of an April 30 conference called Innovations in Home Care, held in New York City. The conference was sponsored by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East; PHI was among several co-sponsors.

PHI, along with 1199 SEIU and a coalition of organizations providing services to seniors, has advocated for more advanced roles for direct-care workers as a way to provide better care for consumers at a lower cost.

Advocates in New York’s disability community support the bill, but have suggested amendments to it.  

On June 11, advocates for people with disabilities staged a protest in the state Assembly Chamber in Albany to encourage action on the bill.

— by Matthew Ozga

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