Tuesday, March 29, 2005

HB 247: Health Care Referral Agency/Registry

H.B. 247, P.N. 273 (HESS). This would amend the Health Care Act 48 of 1979, P.L. 130.
The Health Department would ascertain that a person receiving health care referrals possesses a valid nurse’s license, or successfully completed an approved nurse aide training program or passed an approved competency exam, or successfully completed an approved home health aide training programs or passed an approved competency exam, successfully completed an approved personal care worker training credentialing program or passed an approved competency exam, or successfully completed an approved skills exams for performing daily living instrumental activities should the person only be providing such services.
Criminal history information checks would be conducted of all staff before a license would be provided to a home care agency or registry. Staff who would have contact with the public would be required to be shown to be free of communicable disease, with at minimum being screened for tuberculosis.
A consumer would have a right to be involved in the service planning process, receive services with reasonable accommodation of needs and preferences, have privacy and confidentiality retained, be free from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, be able to refuse treatment or services, receive written notice of an intent to have services terminated, have access to a Public Welfare Department hotline, be free from discrimination, and would be free from having the agency or registry have a person assume power of attorney or guardianship over the consumer.
A consumer would receive information from the agency or registry on how to contact the Health Department’s hotline and external complaint mechanisms.
The Health Department would be able to inspect an agency or registry during regular business hours. An agency or registry found with a violation would be required to submit a written plan stating how and when the violation would be corrected.
A regular or special license for a home care registry would be set at $100.


At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly urge you to vote against HOUSE BILL 247.

This bill will limit my freedom and the freedom of others in my
support/advocacy groups.

Because of the attendant care program, people with disabilities as myself,

and others in my group, can live independent, productive lives in the

community. We are able to hire our own attendants. The ability to hire

someone you feel comfortable about doing very personal things for you

is one of the very important assets of the program. We train our attendants

to meet OUR needs.

To limit our hiring, when it can be difficult as it is with low pay, limited

hours, and no benefits, can put many of us in a position that could leave us

without attendants. This could result in us being subject to agencies

providing our attendants, which would be an endless stream of strangers, or

worse, confinement in a nursing home. We are well aware of the cost that

would be to the state.

Unless funding can greatly be increased to provide these training programs

for attendants, I urge you to reconsider this bill.

Please don’t take our freedom away.

Lynda Williams

President of P.R.O.U.D.

Members of P.R.O.U.D.

A support group of the

Northeast PA Center for Independent Living

Lower Level-IBEW Building

431 Wyoming Avenue

Scranton, PA 18503

People Regardless Of oUr Disabilities

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At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your comment. In my opinion this is a good bill - at least mostly. I believe we NEED MORE minimum standards when it comes to taking care of those in need. The standards that must be followed as addressed in the bill are similar to what a homecare agency would need to follow if they were a Medicaid Waiver Provider in PA. I encourage everyone reading this to Google the bill, read it, and then imagine yourself as the consumer. Let's say the consumer is a senior. That senior's family naturally wants to be SURE that any caregiver in the home is criminal background screened, has a TB test done, is well-trained, etc. This bill makes sure of this. And it's not over the top with its requirements either, so most if not all homecare agencies and registries approve of its passing (for example, NPDA and PHA support it). Without it passing, home care is completely unregulated. I mean c'mon, a BARBER is regulated in our state - you're going to tell me that we shouldn't have regulation in place for home care agencies and registries. When you set minimum standards and license the agency/registry, it will raise EVERYONE'S quality.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Certificate of Need requirements will only prove to stifle future development of health care facilities, this will result in millions of jobs that aren't created, billions of Dollars that are flowing to other states. DO NOT VOTE FOR HB247


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