PA 15-130—sHB 6894

Aging Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SAFEGUARDING OF FUNDS FOR RESIDENTS OF CERTAIN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

SUMMARY: This act extends to residential care homes (RCHs) statutory requirements for nursing homes regarding the management of residents' personal funds. The requirements include notification and account management procedures and penalties for failure to comply.

Existing Department of Social Services (DSS) regulations establish similar procedures and requirements for managing RCH residents' personal funds. Presumably, RCHs would continue to follow these regulations in areas left unaddressed by the act (e. g. , submitting to DSS annual statements on residents' accounts and accounting procedures when an RCH transfers ownership) (Conn. Agencies Reg. , 17-109a).

By law, an RCH is an establishment that (1) furnishes, in single or multiple facilities, food and shelter to at least two people unrelated to the proprietor and (2) provides services that meet a need beyond the basic provisions of food, shelter, and laundry (CGS 19a-521).

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

NOTIFICATIONS

Written Statement Prior to Admission

The act requires RCHs to provide to a resident or the resident's legally liable relative, guardian, or conservator (i. e. , the “responsible party”) a written statement:

1. explaining the resident's rights regarding his or her personal funds;

2. listing the charges that may be deducted from the funds;

3. explaining that the RCH will pay at least 5. 5% interest annually on any required security deposit or advanced payment the resident submits before admission to the home; and

4. for Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries, listing the charges not covered by their federal benefits.

The RCH must do this on or before a resident's admission to the home. It must also obtain written acknowledgement that the resident or his or her responsible party received the statement.

Medicaid Beneficiaries

For Medicaid beneficiaries, the act requires RCHs to provide written notification if the resident's personal account reaches $200 less than the Medicaid asset limit, which is currently $1,600 for an individual. The notice must advise the resident, or his or her responsible party, that the resident may become ineligible for Medicaid if his or her combined assets exceed the legal limit.

ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

Consent

Under the act, a resident or his or her responsible party can ask, and provide written consent for, the RCH to manage the resident's personal funds. If a physician determines the resident is not mentally capable of understanding and has no conservator, the resident and his or her responsible party must cosign the consent.

Accounting

The RCH must prevent comingling the resident's funds with those of the RCH by establishing (1) a separate account for each resident or (2) an aggregate trust account.

The RCH must obtain signed receipts for each expenditure from each resident's personal funds and maintain an individualized, itemized record of their income and expenditures, including quarterly accounting. It must allow access to this record by the (1) resident or resident's responsible party, (2) regional long-term care ombudsman, and (3) Public Health and Social Services departments.

Refunds

The act requires an RCH to refund any overpayment or deposit made by a former resident, or his or her responsible party, within 30 days after the resident is discharged from the home. The RCH must also refund a deposit made by a prospective resident within 30 days after the individual notifies the home in writing that he or she no longer plans to be admitted.

PENALTIES

The act extends the law's penalties for mismanaging a nursing home resident's personal funds to mismanaging an RCH resident's personal funds. Under the act, violators are guilty of a class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). A resident, or his or her responsible party, may bring an action in Superior Court to recover damages. An RCH that the court finds in violation of the act is liable for damages of three times the amount owed.

OLR Tracking: ND: MF: VR: bs