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Capitol Correspondence - 07.16.18

CMS Rolls Back Medicaid Payments of Union Fees

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According to Governing:

“The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed rolling back an Obama-era rule that allows Medicaid payments to be diverted to unions supporting home health care workers.

[…]

In the announcement, Tim Hill, acting director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, alluded that the Obama-era rule may be illegal. [ANCOR note: the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).]

‘This proposed rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment, and any circumstances in which a state does divert part of a provider’s payment must be clearly allowed under the law,’ said Hill.

For the most part, federal law prohibits Medicaid payments from going to anyone other than a provider. But the Obama administration created an exception to this rule in 2014 and allowed some unions to take a cut of home health care aides’ Medicaid payments.

Eleven states — California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Vermont — plus Washington, D.C., let home health aides unionize. On the flip side, Michigan and Ohio both passed bills in recent years stripping home health aides of their public-sector status.”

ANCOR became alert to this issue in May 2018, when Senator Ron Johnson wrote a letter to CMS to request a review of this practice. We will keep ANCOR members informed of any future developments.