On August 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an informational bulletin that highlights steps available to states, providers, and others to strengthen the home care workforce, defined in the document as encompassing individuals furnishing home and community based services (HCBS). The document is split into subsections, with recommendations under each. The subsections are:
- Workforce Identity
- Provider Qualifications and Basic Training
- Wage Analyses
- Related Prior Guidance
Notably, in the "Wage Analyses" section, the guidance says, "When developing payment rates for home care services, states should also consider business costs incurred by a provider – whether a home care agency or an individually employed worker – associated with the recruitment, skills training, and retention of qualified workers." This is an important acknowledgement that states should ensure that rates will be sufficient to provide adequate compensation for workers. There is also a direct reference to the Department of Labor's Home Care rule, with the guidance noting that states should take into account geographic differences in wages within a state and keep in mind any joint-employer obligations the state may have.