2016/2017

Resolve to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities

This asks the Center for Health Information and Analysis, in consultation with MassHealth, the Department of Elder Affairs, and the Health Policy Commission, to examine cost trends and financial performance among nursing facilities.

 

An Act relative to LGBT awareness training for aging service providers

This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum and training program for delivery of accessible and appropriate services by caregivers and institutions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults and their caregivers.  The curriculum would focus on the prevention and elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as on improving access to services.
 

An act preserving special needs trusts for disabled seniors

This bill would enable disabled older adults over 65 to continue to use special needs pooled trusts without penalty to pay for important services and care not covered by MassHealth.
 

An act relative to small house nursing homes

Small house nursing homes (most notably the Green House modelTM) are an innovative model of care designed to create a more homelike environment for 10-14 individuals needing a nursing home level of care.  
 
This legislation would require the Department of Public Health to develop regulations specific to small houses and would incentivize development of them by establishing an add-on to the Medicaid reimbursement rate in recognition of the additional capital costs involved in design and construction.
 

An Act establishing a home care aide training registry

The purpose of this legislation is to establish a home care aide workforce training registry focused on quality with safeguards and privacy protections for home care aides to monitor completion rates and certificates of home care aide training graduates as well as in-service and advanced training qualifications of home care aides trained by home care agencies.
 

An Act relative to rest homes

This legislation requires the Department of Public Health to separate regulations for Level IV rest homes (affordable, supportive housing for older adults and others who are unable to live independently but do not need intensive skilled services of nursing facilities) from the long term care licensing regulations.  Having separate regulations for these two types of long term care settings would ensure that regulations are consistent with updated care practices and reflect the unique needs of the population that live in rest homes. 
 

An Act protecting elders and persons with disabilities

Legislation would prevent caregivers from working the moment a criminal investigation is launched, and if they are found guilty or their cases are continued without a finding, the caregivers’ licenses would be permanently suspended.
 
They also would be barred from ever working with the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, even if their cases were continued without a finding, and would be fined if they tried to seek work as a caregiver with a suspended license.
 

An Act relative to training of elder services workers in dementia and Alzheimer’s

This legislation would require elder protective service caseworkers to have training specifically focused on recognizing the signs and symptoms of cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease, and understanding how cognitive impairment may affect screening, investigation, and service planning.
 

An Act increasing the personal needs allowance for residents of long term care facilities

The Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) pays for expenses not covered by Medicaid for nursing/rest home residents.  This money helps residents pay for clothing, shoes and other personal needs which help them maintain their dignity and well-being.  Currently, the PNA is subject to reduction in the budget (4000-0600) each year, therefore, putting these residents’ financial security at risk; the legislation would sets a floor for the PNA base at $100/month and include an annual COLA provision.
 

An Act relative to part-time higher education faculty eligibility in the state retirement system

S. 1383

This bill would allow part-time faculty of one or more state higher education institutions, including a division of continuing education, to be eligible for membership in the state-retirement system.  This legislation is limited to faculty members who teach at least two three-credit courses per semester or four three or more credit courses per calendar year, at one or more higher education institutions. 

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