Message from the Chair | July 2024

Posted By: Elaine Flores Bulletin,

rHappy July everyone! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer thus far.  We are in for a hot one for sure.  Now is a good time to remind your staff about heat safety and to be cognizant of signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

I would like to share just a few ways we have helped our staff through our incredibly hot days. 

We have provided our staff with ice-cold water and other refreshments and have purchased little portable fans they can use in clients’ homes.  We’ve even purchased cooling towels for them to use on extremely hot days. When dealing with consistent days of 100+ degree heat, it’s so important to us to be in close contact with our team to help prevent any heat related illness and to show our appreciation for their dedication to patients and their commitment to our agency.  We also connect with our local community health department to obtain information on cooling stations in our area for our patients and families. It’s a good time to take a moment to review your emergency preparedness plans in case of wildfire activity or heat related issues.  You can never be too prepared! 

Let’s talk SB 525 for a moment, as we navigate the complexities of compliance with the mandated health care minimum wage increase under this bill.  It is crucial for home health agencies to ensure a smooth transition and adherence to the new regulations.  With recent legislation mandating that the new health care minimum wage begins no earlier than October 15, and no later than January 1, 2025, we have some time to prepare for this and ask the questions about how this mandate applies to our agencies.

We find being transparent with our communication helps ensure our staff are aware of their new salary structure and effective dates.  We also ensure we have documentation to support the change.  

We educate our clients, keeping them informed on state decisions that may impact their access to care due to higher rates.  Again, being transparent is key.  Clients have shared with us “I appreciate you being on top of this, working with us means so much to us”.  We had one family cancel service because their budget cannot support the personal care they need in their home, the client has moved in with their family to receive the care they need. Other families are acclimating to the increase and recognize how vitally important it is to have a licensed agency provide caregivers to care for themselves or a loved one. 

I feel our agency has been successful in navigating SB 525 and so many other legislative changes because we have CAHSAH in our corner.  The tenacity of our CAHSAH team is unwavering, they know how critical it is for our concerns to be addressed at the state level, they advocate for us and then educate us so we can comply with any necessary changes that are mandated. 

Please follow CAHSAH's Weekly News Update (WNU) for information and updates on SB 525. 

Stay cool out there! Thank you for providing your communities with the care they need to be home with their loved ones in familiar surroundings, you do great work!  

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine Flores
CAHSAH Board Chair