Capitol Corner | July 2024

Posted By: Dean Chalios Bulletin,

June is usually the most frantic month in the annual legislative calendar, and this past month did not vary from that reality.  The month was dominated by bill deadlines, the state budget process, and looming initiatives that have qualified to appear on the November General Election ballot unless their subject matters were addressed  by the Legislature sufficiently enough to persuade their proponents to pull them from the ballot before the deadline to do that passed in late June.


Of particular interest to our industry were legislative actions primarily related to the budget process addressing Medi-Cal private duty nursing (PDN) reimbursement rates, the $25 health care minimum wage, and PAGA, the Private Attorneys Generals Act, which allows private attorneys to act in place of the state attorney general on behalf of employees alleging Labor Code violations on the part of their employers.


As those issues relate to our industry,  we have good news to report on the PDN reimbursement rate increase, the $25 health care minimum wage delay, and on PAGA reform.


One the Medi-Cal PDN reimbursement rate increase issue, it now looks like the Department of Health Care Services will be mandated to increase those rates on January 1, 2026 by an estimated $62 million.  CAHSAH has been working tirelessly on this critical issue with a coalition of PDN providers for several years and has spearheaded a multi-faceted, comprehensive and sophisticated advocacy campaign designed to convince the Legislature and the Governor that PDN rates need to be increased and that doing so will save the Medi-Cal Program $175 million per year by treating fragile patients in their homes rather than in expensive institutional settings.


The tiered $25 health care minimum wage was expected to begin on June 1, 2024 with our industry looking at a $21 per hour minimum.  That date was extended to July 1, 2024 via recent emergency legislation designed to give the Governor and the Legislature more time to negotiate the parameters of a delay in implementation of the wage.  As a result of budget negotiations, the health care minimum wage is now to become effective no earlier than October 15 of this year and no later than January 1, 2025 depending on whether specific state revenue collection goals are met.


And on PAGA, legislation to address a number of troublesome issues related to this onerous law were approved by both houses of the Legislature and will be signed into law by the Governor.  As a result, the business coalition, of which CAHSAH was a strong supporter, has pulled the PAGA initiative from the ballot.


The battle continues in July so please watch your inboxes for information on how you can advocate for our issues with your elected state representatives.