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DHS policies, programs modified

Published (5/20/2011)
By Hank Long
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The House voted 129-3 May 16 to pass a Department of Human Services continuing care policy bill that would modify disability services and personal care assistance (PCA) programs and make changes to a nursing facility relocation project and hardship area statutes.

Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF1406 also makes technical and language changes to the telephone equipment distribution program. It now awaits action by the full Senate. Sen. Sean Nienow (R-Cambridge) is the Senate sponsor.

The bill would modify the PCA program to clarify definitions for eligibility and coverage for PCA services that would align with current policy and the comprehensive assessment and clarify who can do PCA assessments. It would also modify long-term care consultations to define administrative functions for assessment for program and service eligibility determinations and level of care for persons who are in need of long-term care services.

The bill would also:

• provide the human services commissioner the authority to indicate on a license whether the physical location of a foster care setting is the primary residence of the license holder;

• include the community residential setting license in the development of the quality outcome standards;

• modify home and community-based rates and standards;

• consolidate certain reporting requirements and modify the PCA program to remove inconsistencies in statute and comply with federal waiver and plan requirements; and

• modify the quality outcome standards to exclude customized living services.

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