RIALA Blog

New Work Overtime Rules

The long awaited ruling from the US Department of Labor was finally issued on Monday of this week.  The impact of this ruling now enables all employees who make less than $35,568 annually, eligible for overtime pay.  The new rule also raises the threshold for highly compensated employees from $100,000 a year to $107,432 (of which $684 must be paid weekly on a salary or fee basis).  The new rate will take effect January 1, 2020.

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I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form Set to Expire Soon

The federal government's Form I-9, used by HR departments across the country to verify workers' employment eligibility, is expiring on August 31, 2019.  What should your organization do to prepare? 

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Hospice considered a significant change

Hospice care is considered a significant change, even if the services provided by the AL community do not change as a result. ALR Regulation Section  2.4.16 D states: The assessment shall be reviewed and at intervals not to exceed twelve (12) months and each time a resident’s condition changes significantly. 

Understanding Why Employees Leave Your Community

Today, with the low unemployment rate and so many job openings, more employees are voluntarily leaving their jobs than at almost any other time. When an employee quits, it can leave managers scrambling to cover their work load. The loss can be particularly acute when employees simply don’t show up to work, sometimes only days after starting the job.

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CNA and Medication Aide License Renewals and Applications

Some AL providers have experienced delays in confirmation of license renewals for CNA and Med Aids. RI Dept of Health, Professional Regulations report that CNA and MAD licensees who renew online should be active automatically but "holds" may occur for multiple reasons

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Waiver Providers: NHPRI Co-Share Letters

NHPRI recently sent a letter to providers announcing they will be running an update file, which will contain amended Cost of Care (co-share) information for residents on Integrity. Providers may see residents with higher co-shares and possible recoupments in payments. NHPRI will issue a follow-up letter to clarify how this update will impact providers.

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The BH Link

EOHHS has developed The BH-Link, an alternative to the ED for people with Behavioral Health issues.
The Behavioral Health Hotline and Triage Center provides immediate treatment and recovery services, as well as, connections to long term treatment options- 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Learn more about the BH-Link

General Assembly passes bills on Alzheimer’s care, elder abuse

The General Assembly has approved four bills to better support Rhode Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease and to protect against elder abuse. Read the full press release

General Assembly approves 2020 state budget bill

The State Budget for FY2020 did not include an increase to the minimum wage next year, nor did it include the governor’s proposal to tax large businesses whose employees are enrolled in Medicaid programs. 
Read the Press Release for more information

Income Limit for AL Medicaid Waiver Eliminated

The Dept. of Elderly Affairs (DEA) previously announced that the income limit for AL Waiver recipients has been eliminated; the state is adopting the policy that everyone has the right to apply.

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Top 10 Deficiences of 2019

RI Dept. of Health has recently reported the top deficiencies of 2019 so far.  If you have been surveyed recently, please advise RIALA.

Creative and Compliant Ways to Check References

Reference checking is a necessary evil of the hiring process, and it's fraught with the following challenges.

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Life Safety Code Inspection

RI Health Office of Facility Regulations requires all AL communities to have a Life Safety Code inspection within 1 year of ALR License renewal. See sample letter

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Retroactive Payments and Rate Increase for AL Waiver Providers

EOHHS has implemented the per diem rate increase for AL Waiver Providers from $42.16 to $69.00 per day, effective 10/01/2018. This includes residents on RI Housing waiver, DEA waiver, and former Unity members now in fee of service. 
Providers can begin to use the new rate immediately. Previously processed claims that reimbursed at the old rate will be mass adjusted by DXC Technology.  This mass adjustment will occur during the 4/5/19 financial and be reported on your 4/12/19 Remittance Advice. However, there are some individual cases that may need to be adjusted outside of that window, through a manual adjustment process. EOHHS is still working to make these manual corrections in a timely manner in accordance with DXC's mass adjustment.
If your community affected by these cases, you will receive additional communication.

Jessica Marcaccio New AL Surveyor

RI Department of Health OFR has identified Jessica Marcaccio, RN as the primary assisted living surveyor
Jessica has been a Nursing Care Evaluator (surveyor) at the DOH, Office of Facilities Regulations (OFR) since September of 2017. She was the Resident Care Director at the Highlands on the East Side for almost 5 years and the Resident Care Director at Capitol Ridge for 14 years. She understands assisted living and our residents.  
Ratha Sen who has been surveying AL, has a specialty in life safety has transitioned back to surveying skilled. RIDOH-OFR will continue to cross train the skilled  surveyors on AL. Please let us know when your community is under survey. 

Proposed Overtime Rule Covers More Workers

The US Department of Labor has proposed an increase in the salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions to $35,308 per year from $23,660. If finalized, the new overtime rule would result in the reclassification by employers of more than a million currently exempt workers as nonexempt and an increase in pay for others above the new threshold.

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Information RI Employers Must Post in the Workplace

As a RI employer, you are required to update your employees on all pertinent state and federal employment laws and regulations.  To assist you in complying with the posting requirements, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training provides labor posters free of charge to employers.  These posters are available in a variety of languages and can be printed from the DLT website www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/business/post.htm or by calling their business office. 

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