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Wide Array of Organizations Applaud Passage of Advanced Home Health Aide Bill

June 20, 2016

On Thursday, June 16th, the New York State Legislature passed legislation that allows home care aides to perform additional tasks for their clients, helping to relieve family caregivers. Under the legislation, registered nurses can assign those tasks, including administration of routine and prepackaged medication, to Advanced Home Health Aides (AHHA).

The AHHA title will be earned by aides with at least a year's experience who have completed additional training requirements and can demonstrate competency to the RN. The legislation will fill a crucial gap in services for families whose loved ones need this assistance in order to remain at home. This bill also creates an important opportunity for career advancement and allows the aide to play a greater role in health care delivery.

This legislation had the support from leading New York organizations representing seniors, families, people with disabilities, labor and providers — all of whom thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Higher Education Committee chairs Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Senator Kenneth LaValle. 

This bill is an important step forward for home care workers, family caregivers and people with disabilities as recognized by these supporters:

“New York’s family caregivers will get a huge helping hand with this expansion of tasks that properly trained, certified and supervised home health aides will be allowed to perform. Allowing advanced home health aides to perform more common health care procedures will improve access to care — in New Yorkers' homes, rather than in costly, taxpayer-funded institutional settings." — Beth Finkel, AARP NY State Director

"The advanced home health aide bill passed by the Legislature will allow more New Yorkers with age-related and other disabilities to live safely and independently in their communities. Working together, our state leadership has significantly enhanced the long-term supports and services available to vulnerable New York State residents." — George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU

"On behalf of New York's 390,000 individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their over 1.1 million caregivers, the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer's Association Chapters applauds the passage of Advanced Home Health Aides, a new class of direct-care workers trained to provide necessary medication to New Yorkers aging in place." — Jane Ginsburg, Executive Director, Coalition of NYS Alzheimer’s Assn. Chapters

"Members of our community, all across New York State, have been forced into institutions because the assistance they need with health related tasks is not available. The Advanced Home Health Aide legislation creates a way for people with disabilities and seniors to receive assistance with these tasks in the community. It is a significant advance toward the full integration, equality, and civil rights of people with disabilities." — Bruce Darling, organizer with disability rights group, ADAPT

"CCLC is pleased the New York State Legislature has passed legislation that will allow trained home health aides to perform advanced tasks vital to homebound patients. This legislation will improve care for patients while giving family caregivers the support they need to meet the needs of their loved ones." — Scott Amhrein, President, Continuing Care Leadership Coalition 

"Our senior living provider members advocated heavily for this legislation which involved input from consumers, providers, education and training experts.  We worked towards the common goal of expanding access to high quality, safe, health-related tasks to New Yorkers living in the community." — Ginger Landy, Argentum NY Co-Director

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

"We are thrilled that the Legislature has passed the law that will create AHHAs. This bill will dramatically expand access to health related tasks for people with disabilities and seniors in New York." — Adam Prizio, Manager of Government Affairs, Center for Disability Rights

"HCP applauds the Governor and the New York State Legislature for engaging with a wide array of stakeholders in crafting this important legislation. The Advanced Home Health Aide designation will provide an additional cost-effective care option for the delivery of care to elderly, disabled, and chronically ill New Yorkers in their homes and communities and creates new career advancement opportunities for home health aides." — Claudia J. Hammar, President, N.Y.S. Association of Health Care Providers (HCP)

"The New York Association on Independent Living applauds the Governor and the legislature for working together to pass this important legislation. The creation of AHHAs will enable many more people with disabilities and older New Yorkers to leave nursing homes and other institutions and live safely in the community." — Lindsay Miller, Executive Director for the New York Association on Independent Living

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