Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-7222

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING USE OF UNLICENSED ASSISTIVE PERSONNEL IN RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES.

Vote Date:

3/9/2007

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/5/2007

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To allow unlicensed assistive personnel in residential care homes to use digital medical instruments to perform certain limited health-related tasks upon residents.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

The Department of Public Health opposes House Bill 7222. Currently regulations governing Residential Care Homes address the administration of medication in this healthcare setting and educational requirements for medication administration by staff and on-going training is required. There is no need for additional regulation in these areas.

Another concern the Department has, although “electronic devices” may record readings, it is not clear how the outcomes of this information-gathering by the unlicensed personnel are to be utilized. The Department notes that unlicensed staff does not have the knowledge or legal authority to adjust medication doses upon the results obtained from such devices. Medication dose adjustments require a more indepth assessment by a registered nurse, APRN or physician.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Marjorie Anderson, Owner/Operator

Since all the staff at my residential home are not certified to administer medications, these very capable caregivers would not be able to perform these duties. I would like the wording of the bill change to include all caregivers in residential homes since these procedures are not medical procedures. Performing these procedures should be elective on the part of each residential home.

Sonja Zandri, Owner, Brookside Rest Home

65% of our residents are diabetic and we have trained them how to use their meters to check their sugar levels. We have received compliments from doctors and Department of Public Health inspectors.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

New England Home Care and the VNA Community Healthcare

It appears the purpose of this bill is to codify existing statutes. We would like to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Health and the residential care homes to identify a solution that provides guidance in providing the best care for the residents.

The current system is very complicated and it is often difficult to understand all its complexities. This legislation does not provide for direct oversight of unlicensed personnel. We suggest that there be specific reference to the fact that employers are responsible for the staff.

Kimberly Skehan, Vice President for Clinical & Regulatory Services, Connecticut Association of Home Care

The Association opposes this bill. Current state regulations clearly describe the training requirements and responsibilities of unlicensed personnel certified in medication administration. We feel that allowing unlicensed personnel to perform these tasks would place them in a position of making a judgment as to whether or not a medication needs to be administered. This is considered assessment, which requires the skill of a licensed nurse or qualified professional to make this determination.

Allowing this practice without the delegation or supervision of a registered nurse constitutes practicing nursing without a license. This practice is unsafe and is not in the best interest of the clients or the community.

Reported by: Beverley Henry

Date: 3-12-07