Pay elevate for house well being suppliers depends on federal cash and ‘compliance evaluations’

The state legislature voted this week to approve one complex plan That would increase the pay of frontline workers caring for older adults and people with disabilities.

The plan stems from a bill passed earlier this year that included guidance to the State Department of Health (HCPF) running Colorado’s Medicaid program for people on low incomes and people with disabilities. With Senate Act 21-286, called on state lawmakers to come up with a proposal on how federal pandemic aid money – sent to Colorado through the American Rescue Plan Act – could be used to expand and expand Medicaid’s home and community-based services to enhance.



On Tuesday, lawmakers in the Joint Budget Committee voted 5-1 to adopt the department’s proposed plan, which would, among other things, increase pay for direct caregivers. Colorado’s direct care staff includes the home health workers, personal care assistants, and certified nursing assistants who provide home or community services to Medicaid patients in need of long-term care.

The HCPF’s plan aims to achieve the raise by using $ 262 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to increase the rates Medicaid pays to the health care providers who employ direct caregivers for home and community-based services. HCPF intends to conduct “financial compliance reviews” in accordance with the Plan documentto ensure that the additional funds are channeled through the providers to the workers themselves.

In a statement Tuesday, Governor Jared Polis’s office said the pay increase would allow a minimum wage of $ 15 for direct caregivers.

“Colorado has one of the fastest growing aging populations in the country, so it is important that we recruit and retain caregivers today and for years to come,” Polis, a Democrat, said in the statement. “In Colorado, we value our employees, so I fully support the transition to a minimum wage of $ 15 for nurses.”

As soon as the federal money has been used up, the legislature must intervene in the state budget if it wants to maintain the higher provider tariffs.

Rep. Kim Ransom, a Lone Tree Republican, was the only “no” vote on the voluminous proposal.

“I’m always concerned about the administrative burden,” she said before the vote, questioning the breakdown of overhead spending versus services.

But Ransom and others spoke out in favor of a workforce that, despite the difficult care work, earns historically close to the legal minimum wage.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced closings last year, direct care providers were hit. To balance the budget amid the pandemic recession, lawmakers cut fees for Medicaid providers by 1% in 2020 before increasing them by 2.5% in the 2021 legislature.

The average hourly wage for a domestic or personal hygiene helper was $ 13.50 in Colorado Springs, $ 13.96 in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area, and $ 14.32 in Fort Collins as of May 2020, the data said of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, nursing assistants were paid an average hourly wage of $ 15.53 in Colorado Springs, $ 16.25 in Fort Collins, and $ 17.32 in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro.

The Denver minimum hourly wage is now $ 14.77 and will increase to $ 15.87 in January. Elsewhere in Colorado the minimum wage is $ 12.32.

See how a lot Covid-19 reduction cash well being care suppliers in your state bought

C.ongress set up a massive $ 178 billion fund in 2020 to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare providers, known as the Provider Relief Fund.

The Trump and Biden administrations have not always been great to send the money – or send it on time. But STAT’s new analysis of a health and welfare database of money shows where it is going and who has received the most so far.

By far the largest payments were made to the largest hospital systems in the country. Five of the top 10 recipients of cash were hospitals or health systems in the New York City area; together they received about $ 3.1 billion. The New York and Presbyterian Hospital (usually referred to as NewYork-Presbyterian) alone raised $ 631 million, surpassed just one of the $ 1.2 billion that went to New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Group that operates New York City’s sprawling public system hospitals and clinics.


STAT also publishes the entire database here in a searchable and sortable format.

Many smaller providers also benefited from the program. Of the 412,591 payments published to date, the median was just $ 12,530. Ninety percent of all payments were below $ 192,569.


Mississippi has the highest average payment amount of any state at $ 17,563. The Vermont average payment was the lowest at $ 3,802. In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a population greater than 21 states, the average payment was only $ 1,281. Puerto Rico also received less money overall than any other state: $ 180,788,664 so far.

Below are all payments to providers in each state. First select a state and then click the column headings in the table to sort by that column, or use the search box to enter names of providers and / or cities to narrow the results.

J. Emory Parker / STAT
Source: US Health Resources & Services Administration

Cash for well being suppliers impacted by auto no-fault modifications advances in Michigan Legislature

The legislation is set to get over health care providers affected by an upcoming reimbursement change in car injury treatment that was unveiled in the legislature on Wednesday.

Last week, Michigan House voted through an amended version of Senate Act 28 to create a $ 10 million fund for acute brain and spine injury facilities and caregivers who are suffering structural losses due to the upcoming changes. On Wednesday, the Senate revised that number up and approved $ 25 million for the fund.

The amended version of the bill is now being returned to the House for further review.

Payments would be made on a first-come-first-served basis and providers could only get the funds if they can provide and demonstrate information about the fees for their auto and non-auto injury treatment services, that they are facing a “systematic deficit” caused by changes in the flawless system of the state.

Connected: Law passed by the House would create a fund for health care providers who care for car accident victims

In July, insurance company reimbursement for health care services for survivors of car accidents not covered by Medicare will be reduced by 45% under the fee schedule set in the 2019 Act. This change, say many current post-acute care providers, will either put them out of business or force them to stop providing services to auto-accident patients. And car accident victims fear losing access to quality care.

Some health care providers treating car accident victims have criticized the fund proposal, calling it too little and too late to help troubled businesses and survivors. The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council said in a statement Wednesday that it is opposed to the program and is urging lawmakers to change the policy instead.

“This program, which is set out in Senate Bill 28, does not provide sufficient relief in time or to the extent necessary to allow vendors to keep payroll and operations going,” said Tom Judd, president of the council. “The inevitable result is the imminent disruption of supplies and the displacement of vulnerable casualties across Michigan.”

In 2019, Republican-led Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer voted to overhaul Michigan’s flawless auto insurance system to lower the state’s highest costs and signed bills that were passed with broad bipartisan support.

Part of that change was to allow drivers to choose their desired level of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which went into effect last summer – but another important part of the deal was putting in place a fee schedule for how much Fees for health care insurance providers in handling car accidents.

Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, said he doesn’t think $ 25 million will be enough to solve the problem, but believes it will provide a “bridge” for vendors while lawmakers do Debate continues.

“Do I think $ 25 million will be enough? Not even close, ”he said. “I believe this is a bridge to this body and the House trying to find an answer, and these families deserve nothing less than that.”

Connected: Accident victims, health care providers are shouting about the imminent change in medical fees for car accidents

House spokesman Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said last week the fund could help lawmakers determine any issues with current policy and what to do in the future, according to Gongwer News Service.

Proponents of the directive, due to come into effect in July, say the reimbursement fee law changes are an important part of the equation when it comes to lowering auto insurance rates. The Insurance Alliance of Michigan estimates that just by reducing the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association’s vehicle fee reduction, Michigan drivers saved more than $ 1 billion, excluding the individual saver drivers achieved by choosing different PIP coverage levels.

Average auto insurance rates have dropped significantly since the first phase of Michigan’s Auto Insurance Act came into effect, but it is still one of the most expensive places in the country to insure a car.

Related coverage:

Average auto insurance rates in Michigan are falling significantly, but they are still among the highest in the United States

Michigan’s new auto insurance law is causing a stir and concern

What to Consider When Buying Michigan Auto Insurance?

Will Michigan drivers change their policies once the new auto insurance law goes into effect? Many still don’t know

Why it is difficult to predict individual savings under the new Motor Insurance Act

Auto insurers in Michigan see “coronavirus windfall” as the driving force, accidents are decreasing

About half of Michigan’s insured drivers would not choose to opt out of faultless coverage, a survey found

Governor Whitmer signs Michigan auto insurance revision bill

Michigan orders auto insurance reimbursements for “extreme driving restrictions.”

Michiganders see another drop in auto insurance fees in 2021

How, and why, to assist Erie’s arts, leisure, recreation suppliers

I returned to Erie in September 2018 to lead Erie Arts & Culture, the regional arts council in northwest Pennsylvania and its creative and cultural sector. Since then, one of my topics of conversation has been highlighting what Erie has to offer in terms of arts, entertainment and recreation (AER). I am confident I can make the claim that our city has more AER facilities, facilities, attractions and events per capita than anywhere else in the United States.

Skeptical? Name another city with around 100,000 inhabitants that also has an art museum, a children’s museum, a maritime museum, a history museum, a philharmonic hall, a playhouse with more than 400 seats, a historical center for performing arts with more than 2,000 seats, an arena with more than 9,000 seats, a convention center, and so many community-centric festivals and live events in the summer that our activity calendar is overflowing. This is all made worse when you further consider the menu of options for engaging with the performing arts, whether through small and medium-sized organizations or through programs offered by local universities and colleges.

Our community’s relationship with AER institutions, bodies, facilities and events was drastically different in 2020 and 2021 than in previous years. Out of caution and to comply with government regulations, our favorite institutions were closed, the stages were dark and events were canceled. This has direct and serious implications for nonprofits, small businesses, employees, and individual artists who work to deliver creative and cultural experiences that add flavor to our region and add to our quality of life.

Support Local:Three ways to help businesses and institutions in and around Erie County

We are calculating the impact of the pandemic on our sector and therefore on Erie’s local economy. That effort began by interviewing Erie Arts & Culture’s five cultural service partners: the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Playhouse, the Experience Children’s Museum, the Flagship Niagara League, and the Hagen History Center. Between March and December 2020, these five organizations lost total revenue of $ 2,191,676. To survive, they accessed lines of credit totaling $ 1,465,092. We know that small and medium-sized businesses have also suffered significant financial losses.

More:“So much potential”: the new director of the Erie Art Museum wants to reopen, work together and get involved

The pandemic was also devastating for artists living and working in Erie – artists who rely on live events, festivals, and educational opportunities as part of their annual income. In 2020, Erie Arts & Culture launched a Emergency fund for creative and cultural professionals. Since the scholarship program began, we have provided more than $ 45,000 in support of 124 requests for assistance. The funds are used to cover basic living expenses such as rent and food.

Snapshot: Public art murals add beauty to the Erie region

Our AER assets and activities create and strengthen emotional bonds between people and place. They give the city and the district a clear comparative and competitive advantage when it comes to attracting new residents, visitors or investments. The value derived from the creative and cultural sectors should not be underestimated as we are both recovering from the pandemic and working to develop holistically in ways that are fair and inclusive.

If you appreciate the creative and cultural sector and what it offers in the form of arts, entertainment and recreation, I ask you to give your support to the organizations, companies and individuals that make up the sector this summer. This can take the form of buying tickets to events, making unrestricted donations to support the organizations you engage with, or buying artwork from an Erie-based artist. This can also consist of reaching out to your sphere of influence and asking them to consider helping the sector too. Strong support now will help our sector provide an opportunity for future generations to come together and share enriched experiences.

More:Erie Arts & Culture, director for local art groups: “We need to better represent our value.”

Patrick Fisher is the managing director of Erie Arts & Culture. Contact him by email at

Some Suppliers Have Free Cash to Assist With Your Utility Payments – NBC4 Washington

People are struggling to pay their electricity bills. With many families losing all or part of their income during the pandemic, there is simply not enough money after paying the rent or mortgage and groceries.

While there are moratoriums on shutdowns in Virginia and DC, Maryland does not. Some utility companies have free cash to go after you, but you have to ask for help.

For example, DC Water is offering up to $ 2,000 emergency assistance to repay your overdue balance.

Fairfax Water has a COVID-19 relief program for municipal utilities. Funds will be given based on availability and we will be told that there is currently still money available.

Dominion’s EnergyShare program allows customers with financial difficulties to apply for help regardless of income.

And Pepco is partnering with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to offer grants to customers.

“We try every possible way to get our customers to act and that is the most important thing,” said Ben Armstrong, Pepco spokesman. “Our customers need to take action, they need to get in touch so we can get them the support that will help them get back on track.”

Utilities in Maryland may begin discontinuing services for customers due to underpaid conditions. Here’s what to do if you’re facing a shutdown. Juliana Valencia from News4 reports.

If your utility company doesn’t have free money, they can refer you to local programs that do so. All providers work with you on a payment plan. Some of them let you pay for anything you can afford.

Use the links below to see what financial help your provider has available.


DC water

Dominion Energy

Fairfax water




Washington gas

WSSC water