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Senate Bill No. 904

Public Act No. 17-95

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING FACILITIES GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICAL REVIEW OF FACILITY CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 19a-491 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) No person acting individually or jointly with any other person shall establish, conduct, operate or maintain an institution in this state without a license as required by this chapter, except for persons issued a license by the Commissioner of Children and Families pursuant to section 17a-145 for the operation of (1) a substance abuse treatment facility, or (2) a facility for the purpose of caring for women during pregnancies and for women and their infants following such pregnancies. Application for such license shall be made to the Department of Public Health upon forms provided by it and shall contain such information as the department requires, which may include affirmative evidence of ability to comply with reasonable standards and regulations prescribed under the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner may require as a condition of licensure that an applicant sign a consent order providing reasonable assurances of compliance with the Public Health Code. The commissioner may issue more than one chronic disease hospital license to a single institution until such time as the state offers a rehabilitation hospital license.

(b) If any person acting individually or jointly with any other person owns real property or any improvements thereon, upon or within which an institution, as defined in subsection (c) of section 19a-490, is established, conducted, operated or maintained and is not the licensee of the institution, such person shall submit a copy of the lease agreement to the department at the time of any change of ownership and with each license renewal application. The lease agreement shall, at a minimum, identify the person or entity responsible for the maintenance and repair of all buildings and structures within which such an institution is established, conducted or operated. If a violation is found as a result of an inspection or investigation, the commissioner may require the owner to sign a consent order providing assurances that repairs or improvements necessary for compliance with the provisions of the Public Health Code shall be completed within a specified period of time or may assess a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day that such owner is in violation of the Public Health Code or a consent order. A consent order may include a provision for the establishment of a temporary manager of such real property who has the authority to complete any repairs or improvements required by such order. Upon request of the Commissioner of Public Health, the Attorney General may petition the Superior Court for such equitable and injunctive relief as such court deems appropriate to ensure compliance with the provisions of a consent order. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any property or improvements owned by a person licensed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to establish, conduct, operate or maintain an institution on or within such property or improvements.

(c) Notwithstanding any regulation, the Commissioner of Public Health shall charge the following fees for the biennial licensing and inspection of the following institutions: (1) Chronic and convalescent nursing homes, per site, four hundred forty dollars; (2) chronic and convalescent nursing homes, per bed, five dollars; (3) rest homes with nursing supervision, per site, four hundred forty dollars; (4) rest homes with nursing supervision, per bed, five dollars; (5) outpatient dialysis units and outpatient surgical facilities, six hundred twenty-five dollars; (6) mental health residential facilities, per site, three hundred seventy-five dollars; (7) mental health residential facilities, per bed, five dollars; (8) hospitals, per site, nine hundred forty dollars; (9) hospitals, per bed, seven dollars and fifty cents; (10) nonstate agency educational institutions, per infirmary, one hundred fifty dollars; (11) nonstate agency educational institutions, per infirmary bed, twenty-five dollars; (12) home health care agencies, except certified home health care agencies described in subsection (d) of this section, per agency, three hundred dollars; (13) home health care agencies, except certified home health care agencies described in subsection (d) of this section, per satellite patient service office, one hundred dollars; (14) assisted living services agencies, except such agencies participating in the congregate housing facility pilot program described in section 8-119n, per site, five hundred dollars; (15) short-term hospitals special hospice, per site, nine hundred forty dollars; (16) short-term hospitals special hospice, per bed, seven dollars and fifty cents; (17) hospice inpatient facility, per site, four hundred forty dollars; and (18) hospice inpatient facility, per bed, five dollars.

(d) Notwithstanding any regulation, the commissioner shall charge the following fees for the triennial licensing and inspection of the following institutions: (1) Residential care homes, per site, five hundred sixty-five dollars; (2) residential care homes, per bed, four dollars and fifty cents; (3) home health care agencies that are certified as a provider of services by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the Medicare or Medicaid program, three hundred dollars; and (4) certified home health care agencies, as described in section 19a-493, per satellite patient service office, one hundred dollars.

(e) The commissioner shall charge one thousand dollars for the licensing and inspection every four years of outpatient clinics that provide either medical or mental health service, and well-child clinics, except those operated by municipal health departments, health districts or licensed nonprofit nursing or community health agencies.

(f) Any institution that is planning a project for construction or building alteration shall provide the plan for such project to the Department of Public Health for review. Any such project shall comply with nationally established facility guidelines for health care construction, as approved by the commissioner, that are in place at the time the institution provides the plan to the department. The commissioner shall post a reference to such guidelines, including the effective date of such guidelines, on the Department of Public Health's Internet web site. No institution shall be required to include matters outside the scope and applicability of such guidelines in the institution's plan.

[(f)] (g) The commissioner shall charge a fee of five hundred sixty-five dollars for the technical assistance provided for the design, review and development of an institution's construction, renovation, building alteration, sale or change in ownership when the cost of the project is one million dollars or less and shall charge a fee of one-quarter of one per cent of the total construction cost when the cost of the project is more than one million dollars. Such fee shall include all department reviews and on-site inspections. For purposes of this subsection, "institution" does not include a facility owned by the state.

[(g)] (h) The commissioner may require as a condition of the licensure of home health care agencies and homemaker-home health aide agencies that each agency meet minimum service quality standards. In the event the commissioner requires such agencies to meet minimum service quality standards as a condition of their licensure, the commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to define such minimum service quality standards, which shall (1) allow for training of homemaker-home health aides by adult continuing education, (2) require a registered nurse to visit and assess each patient receiving homemaker-home health aide services as often as necessary based on the patient's condition, but not less than once every sixty days, and (3) require the assessment prescribed by subdivision (2) of this subsection to be completed while the homemaker-home health aide is providing services in the patient's home.

[(h)] (i) No person acting individually or jointly with any other person shall establish, conduct, operate or maintain a home health care agency or homemaker-home health aide agency without maintaining professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice. The amount of insurance which such person shall maintain as insurance or indemnity against claims for injury or death for professional malpractice shall be not less than one million dollars for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate of not less than three million dollars.

[(i)] (j) On and after June 15, 2012, until June 30, 2017, the commissioner shall not issue or renew a license under this chapter for any hospital certified to participate in the Medicare program as a long-term care hospital under Section 1886(d)(1)(B)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 1395ww) unless such hospital was so certified under said federal act on January 1, 2012.

[(j)] (k) (1) A chronic disease hospital shall (A) maintain its medical records on-site in an accessible manner or be able to retrieve such records from an off-site location not later than the end of the next business day after receiving a request for such records, (B) keep a patient's medical records on-site for a minimum of ten years after the date of such patient's discharge, except the hospital may destroy the patient's original medical records prior to the expiration of the ten-year period if a copy of such medical records is preserved by a process that is consistent with current hospital standards, or (C) complete a patient's medical records not more than thirty days after the date of such patient's discharge, except in unusual circumstances that shall be specified in the hospital's rules and regulations for its medical staff. Each chronic disease hospital shall provide the Department of Public Health with a list of the process it uses for preserving a copy of medical records in accordance with subparagraph (B) of this subdivision.

(2) A children's hospital shall (A) maintain its medical records on-site in an accessible manner or be able to retrieve such records from an off-site location not later than the end of the next business day after receiving a request for such records, and (B) keep a patient's medical records on-site for a minimum of ten years after the date of such patient's discharge, except the hospital may destroy the patient's original medical records prior to the expiration of the ten-year period if a copy of such medical records is preserved by a process that is consistent with current hospital standards. Each children's hospital shall provide the Department of Public Health a list of the process it uses for preserving a copy of medical records in accordance with subparagraph (B) of this subdivision.

(3) The Department of Public Health may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

Approved June 30, 2017