The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act, or the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, passed the Senate on Jan. 9 and is headed to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The act is aimed at identifying recommended actions for health care providers, long-term services and supports (LTSS) providers, state and local governments and existing federal programs to help support family caregivers.
“In many situations, care is the home would not be possible without the support of family caregiving,” Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, told Home Health Care News in an email. “We need a national strategy on family caregiving to ensure the success of home care. NAHC fully supports the RAISE Family Caregivers Act.”
The bill passed the House on Dec. 18. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, introduced the legislation in the Senate, while Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., sponsored it in the House. The bill had broad bipartisan sponsorship, according to a release from Collins’ office.
The act will improve the gathering and sharing of information, including information on evidence-based or promising practices and innovative models on family caregiving, according to AARP.
Among other actions, the bill calls for promoting greater adoption of person- and family-centered care in all LTSS and health settings, assessment and service planning involving both care recipients and family caregivers, and support for information education and training.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must also convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to provide recommendations, including practices that have already been identified, and advise on how to recognize and support family caregivers.
According to the bill, the council should include at least one representative from family caregivers, older adults with LTSS needs, disabled individuals, health care and social service providers, LTSS providers, employers, paraprofessional workers, state and local officials, accreditation bodies, veterans, and other experts and advocacy organizations working in family caregiving.
The council’s federal members should include the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the administrator of the Administration for Community Living or a designee, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs or a designee, and the heads of other federal agencies or departments as named by the HHS secretary or the council’s chair.
No additional funds are authorized for appropriation for the Act.
Written by Maggie Flynn