In The News

Colorado (Again) Changes Rules on How Employers Must Compensate Employees Using Paid Leave

Littler Publications | Dec 20, 2022

Effective January 1, 2023, regulations under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) will again change how employers calculate the rate of pay when employees use paid sick and safe leave and/or public health emergency leave. Although employers might welcome certain changes to the pay rate calculation rules, the fact is that these new regulations amount to the third time that Colorado’s Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) has revised the pay rate calculation rules since the HFWA first took effect in mid-2020. Thus, pay rate calculations under the HFWA are a moving target, making compliance a challenge. Learn More

 

Biden Administration Renews Public Health Emergency Again

Full text of the declaration reads:

As a result of the continued consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  pandemic, on this date and after consultation with public health officials as necessary, I, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, do hereby renew, effective January 11, 2023, the January 31, 2020, determination by former Secretary Alex M. Azar II, that he previously renewed on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, and January 7, 2021, and that I renewed on April 15, 2021, July 19, 2021, October 15, 2021, January 14, 2022, April 12, 2022, July 15, 2022, and October 13, 2022, that a public health emergency exists and has existed since January 27, 2020, nationwide.

 

‘Kraken’ COVID symptoms: What to Know About the Strain Sweeping Through the U.S. and Now in at Least 28 Other Countries

Fortune Well | By Eleanor Pringle

COVID hospitalizations in the U.S. have spiked 16.1% in the past week as a new “escaped” variant of the virus has continued to sweep across the country.

XBB.1.5— dubbed ‘Kraken’ by Canadian biology professor Dr. Ryan Gregory and his following in the Twitterverse—is the most transmissible COVID variant yet, according to the World Health Organization.

A risk assessment is currently being drawn up for the new mutant strain by WHO’s technical advisory group on virus evolution, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for COVID-19 response at the authority, said on Wednesday.

XBB.1.5 began alarming scientists at the tail end of last year after the number of Kraken cases in the U.S. rose from 1% of all cases at the start of December to 41% just three weeks later.

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected that it comprised around 75% of infections in regions 1 and 2, which include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The strain is believed to be in at least 28 other countries—including Europe—with cases of XBB.1.5 now thought to make up 4% of COVID cases in the U.K.

Read Full Article

 

NOW AVAILABLE IN iQIES - Preview Reports and Star Rating Preview Reports for the April 2023 Refresh

For this refresh, Home Health (HH) Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) will be based on the standard number of quarters. Due to the COVID-19 reporting exceptions, the claims-based measures have been calculated excluding Q1 and Q2 2020 data from measure calculations. For additional information, please see the HH QRP COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet in the downloads section of the HH Quality Reporting Training webpage and the Home Health Data Submission Deadlines webpage

 

HHS Offers States Flexibility to Better Address Medicaid Enrollees’ Needs

Home Care Association of America

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS released guidance to help states expand access to health care services and address health-related social needs for people with Medicaid coverage. The option of “in lieu of services and settings” in Medicaid managed care will help state offer alternative benefits to address unmet health-related social needs, such as housing instability and food insecurity.

​Provided via a state Medicaid director letter, the guidance establishes requirements that states must meet to ensure the services are cost effective, medically appropriate, preserve enrollee rights and protections, and fulfill the objectives of the Medicaid program.
 
For more information or to read the state Medicaid director letter in its entirety, visit Medicaid.gov

https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/smd23001.pdf

 
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