HB 2569 would increase efficiency in Medicaid-funded in-home care.

BACKGROUND

SB 774 (2015) requested the Oregon Home Care Commission to identify potential efficiencies in Oregon’s home care and personal support systems. The Commission contracted Thomas P. Miller & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in developing strategic workforce development plans, to assist in meeting SB 774’s mandate. Miller’s suggestions included implementing a universal provider number for long-term care workers and adopting a single fingerprinting standard for the Background Check Unit.

PROBLEM

Medicaid-funded home care and personal support workers provide similar services. In order to be a home care or personal support worker, you must pass a background check and be assigned a Medicaid Provider Number; however, if someone would like to be both a home care worker and a personal support worker, they must pass two background checks and be assigned two Medicaid Provider Numbers. This redundancy places an additional burden on workers who must coordinate two parallel processes within the same department and wastes taxpayer money.

Workers who provide similar supports are also held to different background eligibility standards, which furthers administrative delays. For example, fingerprints are required for some workers, but not others, depending on how long they’ve lived in Oregon. Applying a universal fingerprint standard would streamline Background Check Unit processing for all care workers, increasing efficiency and promoting equity.

SOLUTION

HB 2569 would assign a universal provider number to all home care and personal support workers. This number would be portable throughout the long-term care system, eliminating the current need for duplicity. The bill would also require all long-term care workers to provide fingerprints as part of their background check. HB 2569 would finally ensure that our in-home care background check system is consistent with Oregon’s recently-reaffirmed Sanctuary State status and prevent authorities from sharing sensitive employee information with federal agencies.