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Advanced Home Health Aide Bill Passes Both Houses of New York State Legislature

June 17, 2016

The June 16 passage of legislation creating an Advanced Home Health Aide (AHHA) for New York marks an advancement for consumers, families caring for loved ones at home, and the home care workforce on which thousands of New Yorkers depend. The legislation places New York among other states that have recognized that with enhanced training and nursing supervision, there are tasks that home health aides can safely perform.

"This legislation gives home health aides an opportunity to increase their skills and play a much larger role in the care of their clients," said PHI president Jodi Sturgeon. "New York has added a critical rung on the career ladder for this workforce on which so many rely."

The legislation was first proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in 2013 and received attention in 2015 from a multi-stakeholder workgroup that was charged with identifying key elements to designing and implementing a program to create the new title. "PHI was an active member of the workgroup and is committed to informing the steps needed to certify the first AHHA," Sturgeon said.

The legislation is timely as more families are having to adjust their schedules or reduce their working hours to administer routine, pre-packaged, or pre-poured medications to their loved ones — a task that home health aides are currently prohibited from performing except in very limited circumstances. The opportunity for aides will allow them to play a needed role in the state's goal of reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room use.

"New York's home health aides are an underutilized resource in the state's health care system, and this bill will help unlock their caregiving potential," Sturgeon said. "PHI is grateful to Governor Cuomo, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, and Senator Kenneth LaValle for their leadership in taking this important step forward for New Yorkers."

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PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute) works to transform eldercare and disability services. We foster dignity, respect, and independence — for all who receive care, and all who provide it. The nation's leading authority on the direct-care workforce, PHI promotes quality direct-care jobs as the foundation for quality care (www.PHInational.org).

Carol Rodat, PHI New York Policy Director, crodat@phinational.org, (718) 402-7226

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