OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5284

AN ACT INCREASING FUNDING FOR ELDERLY NUTRITION.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires, rather than allows, the social services commissioner to annually increase the fees paid to providers for specified services based on cost increases. It applies to fees for homemaker, chore, companionship, respite care, meals on wheels, adult day care, case management and assessment, transportation, mental health counseling, and elderly foster care services.

It also requires the commissioner, on and after July 1, 2016, to increase the fees for meals on wheels provided through the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) to reflect reasonable provider costs and minimize participant copayments. Under the bill, reasonable costs must be based on the cost of food, food preparation and packaging, transportation, delivery, and associated labor and administration costs. CHCPE is a Medicaid waiver and state-funded program that provides home- and community-based services for eligible individuals age 65 and older who are at risk for institutionalization.

By law, the commissioner may implement policies and procedures while in the process of adopting regulations about payments to home health care and homemaker-health aide agencies, provided he provides a notice of intent to adopt regulations within 20 days of the policy implementation date. The bill requires the commissioner to publish the notice on the department's website and the Secretary of State's online eRegulations system, instead of the Connecticut Law Journal. By law, such policies and procedures are valid for a maximum of nine months.

The bill also removes obsolete provisions regarding rates for home-based services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ACTION

Aging Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/08/2016)