Legislative Watch

Legislative Watch

Track the status of bills in the 2019 Legislative Report Grid
Last updated: March 20, 2019

Key Bills Introduced:

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

The General Assembly is considering legislation (H-5550) that would require assisted living residences to “provide and maintain on-site, functional external defibrillators.” Under current law  “health care facilities” and other “public places … capable of holding three hundred (300) people or more” are required to provide and maintain AEDs. The bill appears intended to clarify the scope of these terms and specifically includes ALRs in the definition of “public place.” RIALA is closely monitoring this legislation and will keep you informed with relevant information as the legislative session progresses.

 

Work on Holidays and Sundays

This bill (H-5337) would repeal the exemption on certain classes of employees from receiving overtime pay for Sunday and holiday work. RIALA is in opposition to this bill.

 

Potential New Tax on Large Employers

The Governor’s budget (H-5151, Article 16, section 4) proposes a new tax on businesses employing more than 300 people that have employees on Medicaid funded services.  While most of our members do not employ 300 people, RIALA has concerns that once passed, the tax could be expanded to include smaller businesses or all businesses. The legislation excludes not for profits and government employers.

We testified in opposition and will continue to monitor. Read RIALA's testimony

 

Minimum Wage Increases

There are multiple proposals to increase the minimum wage in 2020, some step increase to $11.50 in 2020 and $12.50 in 2021. Others advocate for a direct increase to $15.00.

 

Abuse in Health Care Facilities

There is a bill introduced (H-5573) on behalf of the Trail Lawyer’s Association that would eliminate the word “willful” from the abuse statute.  

At the hearing, RIALA testified in opposition to this bill.  The word “willful” protects residents with cognitive loss from being guilty of abuse in resident to resident altercations.  We will continue to monitor the bill. 

 

SSI Category F

The Governor’s budget includes an expansion of SSI Cat F (H5150, Article 16, Section 1) eligibility to apply to Medicaid Waiver residents with very low incomes in Fee for Service (FFS).  RIALA is working closely with the House and Senate Finance Committees and EOHHS to ensure passage.

Currently eligible residents who transferred from NHPRI Unity to FFS have been able to retain Cat F, pending the passage of the proposed changes. Should the article not be approved in the final budget, the Category F payment would cease in FFS.  

Read RIALA's testimony

 

Timely Medicaid Payment

RIALA and our colleagues in Long Term Care have introduced a bill (H-5623) that would require the state to pay the daily Medicaid rate to providers for any Medicaid application that has been pending for 90 days. The only exception is if the state requires information from the provider (NOT the applicant) and the state has requested the additional info within 60 days of the application being filed.

This bill if passed, will only apply to residents receiving services (living in AL or SNF) while the application is being processed. 

 

Resident Quality and Safety

RIALA and our colleagues in Long Term Care have introduced legislation (H-5923) that would revise the law that created the Independent Home Care Provider Medicaid program to include participants rights, protection against abuse, a formal complaint process, and training requirements.      

 

Couples in Memory Care

Working with the RI Department of Health, RIALA had legislation (H-5141 & S-302) sponsored that would allow people without a diagnosis of dementia to reside with their loved one, who has the disease in Memory Care, upon full disclosure and orientation.  While the bill makes the option of staying together available, it does not require staying together.

RIALA, DEA, Health and the Alzheimer’s Association testified in support.  A minor language change was agreed to by all parties is being implemented in the bill. We will keep you advised.

 

There are several bills that have been introduced as a result of the publication of the Revised State Plan on Alzheimer’s disease

Please contact RIALA for more information.