Here, you'll find legislative updates for Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
Alabama Missing Persons With Alzheimer’s and Dementia Bill
The Alabama legislature recently passed HB 427, which recognizes missing persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia to be eligible for Silver Alert regardless of age. The bill also requires law enforcement personnel to undergo training in searching for those with dementia. This bill is expected to be signed into law.
Currently, the state of Arizona is revising the Caregiver Training rules. In 2014, the revised rules created a burden on the workforce for the industry. Our state partner, the Arizona Assisted Living Federation of America (AZ ALFA), was successful in convincing the Board of Examiners to open the rules for Caregiver Training, and the draft rules are expected to be filed before the end of March. In the current Caregiver Training rule, the caregivers are required to complete onerous requirements making it challenging for caregivers. AZ ALFA is working diligently to amend the training requirements to allow a clear pathway for caregivers.
Cap Fee Increases in AL Residences
LeadingAge Colorado initiated SB 18-054, which places a CPI cap on licensure fee increases beginning in 2019. The delay in implementation allows the department to increase fees to obtain enough staff to survey each community every three years and catch up on complaints. This bill was signed into law by the governor on March 1.
Gov. Scott issued emergency rules mandating generators following a nursing home tragedy in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, and other associations representing senior living interests negotiated a modified rule with Governor Scott’s office and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The Florida Legislature formally adopted a resolution to ratify the rule on March 9, which was signed into law on March 26. READ MORE ABOUT THE SIGNING.
Tort Reform Measures
Every 20 years the state of Florida forms a Constitutional Revision Commission that considers and proposes amendments to Florida’s constitution that must be considered by Florida voters. An amendment was proposed that would have significantly reduced hard fought tort reform measures obtained in the early 2000s by nursing homes and assisted living communities. Through the collaboration of the Florida Senior Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, and the Florida Health Care Association and their respective lobbying teams, this rule was withdrawn from consideration on March 20.
CCRC Legislation Update
Legislation was not adopted by the Florida Legislature prior to their adjournment on March 9. Argentum and Florida Senior Living Association will regroup and begin strategy discussions on a way forward for the 2019 legislative session.
Long-Term Care Background Check Program
The proposed SB 406 legislation:
This bill has passed both the Georgia House and Senate.
Life Care Contracts
IL HB 4664 was introduced in early February by Rep. Kathleen Willis. The legislation focuses on provisions concerning required disclosures and life care contract requirements for providers under the Act. Components of the bill include:
The bill is currently placed on 2nd reading to allow for amendments.
Assisted Living Services Bill
SB 421 requires the state to allow non-licensed assisted living services and licensed RCFs to participate in a Medicaid waiver that provides services to the aged and disabled. It also permits (but does not require) Medicaid to reimburse for waiver services as of the date of the individual’s Medicaid application. The bill also states it forbids the state from doing any of the following with regard to assisted living services under a home and community based waiver:
The bill was signed by the governor on March 21.
Elder Abuse Reporting
HF 3308 and HF 296 both propose changes to reporting requirements for elder abuse. Argentum state partner LeadingAge Minnesota has worked closely with Rep. Kiel on both of these bills and is in full support. Currently, both bills are in the House; HF 3296 has been referred to the Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee and HF 3308 has been referred to the Government Operations and Election Policy Committee.
A third bill, HF 3468/SF 3088, was also introduced. The bill would:
The new assisted living regulatory framework would be developed in 2019 and implemented in 2020. However, we are told advocates want to see as much of the licensure framework as possible put into statute this session, including the possibility of staffing ratios.
Regulations on Employee Scheduling
Gov. Cuomo’s proposed regulation would address “just in time,” “call-in,” or “on-call” scheduling by establishing a 14-day advance notice standard for scheduling and requiring employers to provide two hours extra pay for last minute assignments and require at least four hours pay for last-minute shift cancellations or requiring workers on-call or stand-by to come into work. Argentum has worked with Argentum New York to to submit comments requesting a carve out for long-term care in the proposed regulation. We are awaiting publication of the revised rule by the NYS Department of Labor.
S. 7908, introduced on March 9 and sponsored by Sen. Rich Funke, would delay the implementation of the call-in regulations until the completion of a study conducted by the Empire State Development Corporation on the potential impact of the proposed regulation.
Study of Star Rating Program
Argentum’s state partner in North Carolina, the North Carolina Assisted Living Association, is participating in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the current program providing information to consumers, and examine if potential evidenced-based alternatives could result in an improvement of the current system.
Flu Education Bill
SB 1220 requires each assisted living community to provide each resident educational information on influenza no later than September 1 of each year. Such information shall include, but not be limited to the risks associated with influenza disease; the availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of the influenza immunization; and causes and symptoms of influenza; and the means by which influenza is spread. The bill recently passed both chambers and is expected to be signed into law.
HB 2537 was originally proposed to require assisted living communities to have alternative sources of power in case of emergencies. The bill was recently amended and now requires communities to have policies and procedures that explain how heating and cooling of communities will be maintained during emergency situations where there is a loss of the primary power source. The bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate Health Committee.
IL Regulation Study Legislation
Legislation recently passed and was signed into law requiring the Department of Social Services to study regulation of independent living communities. This includes an examination of residential health care services coordinated through third-party providers and determines the extent some or all independent living communities should be regulated and by which agency. The Department shall also determine whether the Commonwealth should establish the Office of the Independent Living Community Ombudsman to receive, record, and respond to complaints submitted by residents and other citizens regarding the operations of independent living communities. The report is due to the General Assembly November 30, 2018.
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