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  • NJ A2963
  • "Protection for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities in Institutional and Community Settings Act."
Introduced
(2/16/2016)
In Committee
(2/16/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill is designed to provide protections for individuals with developmental disabilities residing in community residences for the developmentally disabled, developmental centers, private licensed facilities, and nursing homes. "Community residences for the developmentally disabled" are defined in the bill as including, but not limited to, group homes and supervised apartments. The bill also includes protections for individuals with developmental disabilities who attend day programs in the community. Under the provisions of the bill, if an inspection of one of these residences or programs by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Department of Health (DOH), as applicable, requires the submission of a plan of to correct deficiencies and that plan has not been successfully implemented within 30 days, an individual with a developmental disability is to be removed if it is determined that failure to implement the plan threatens the individual's health and well-being. For a repeated failure to implement the plan, a license may be revoked, or any other negative action may be taken against the provider of the services. In the case of a developmental center, which is inspected by the Division of Health Facilities Evaluations and Licensing in DOH and is required to comply with federal standards, the bill also requires removal of an individual if failure to implement a plan of correction threatens the individual's health and well-being, and provides that the developmental center is subject to negative action against its certification, in accordance with federal regulations. The bill also requires a staff member providing direct care to individuals with developmental disabilities to annually undergo an examination by a physician to ascertain physical and mental ability to fulfill job duties. The physician is to provide a statement and complete a form indicating ability to perform each duty. Failure to provide these documents may result in non-payment, recovery of prior payments, and no resumption of payment until a staff member submits the statement and form. A staff member employed by DHS retains any available right of review by the Civil Service Commission. If an individual with a developmental disability is incapable of managing his own funds, a staff member is restricted from making purchases and disbursements that do not reflect specific needs of the individual. Over a four-year period, the Office of Auditing in DHS is to review a sample of one month's receipts for purchases and disbursements made on behalf of the individual. A case manager and the case manager's supervisor are also to review a random sample of receipts when they conduct visits to residences. If it is determined that purchases or disbursements do not reflect the individual's specific needs, that fact is documented and the Commissioner of Human Services or the commissioner's designee is to be advised. In addition, if there is evidence of an inappropriate purchase or disbursement entailing an egregious amount, the Attorney General is to be notified. The bill also requires staff members to annually attend a continuing education program and demonstrate the ability to provide physical assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities under their care. For individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in community residences for the developmentally disabled and attend day programs, a staff member of these residences is to notify the placing agency of a lapse in attendance at a day program that exceeds five days, except for vacations or medical reasons. The bill also limits provisional licenses to a three-month, rather than the current six-month, period. The bill provides for oversight of case management and requires a case manager to provide a supervisor with a written report pertaining to care and safety of an individual with a developmental disability when monthly visits to individuals with developmental disabilities are conducted pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1983, c.524 (C.30:6D-20). Reports are to be sent to the guardian or authorized family member of the individual, and shared with others if the guardian or individual so authorizes. In addition, individuals' records are to be reviewed and the reviews are to be documented. Over a three-year period, a case manager's supervisor is to visit 100 percent of the individuals with developmental disabilities who are assigned to the case manager, except that individuals who are their own guardians may decline. After three years, if the supervisor determines that individuals are not at risk for abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the supervisor visits may be reduced to one every four years. Visits are to be conducted in coordination with a case manager who is unaffiliated with, and unfamiliar to, the assigned case manager, and written reports about the visits are to be provided to the guardian or authorized family member. A different case manager is to be assigned if it is determined that the individual would benefit from such a change. In addition, the Office of Licensing in DHS is to annually conduct routine unannounced visits of 25 percent of community residences for the developmentally disabled Statewide. The bill requires the Special Response Unit in DHS to compile data about investigations and issue an annual report, which is to be available on the DHS website and contain non-identifying information about individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill also provides for oversight of providers of day programs for individuals with developmental disabilities by requiring that providers submit monthly attendance reports to the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The providers are subject to a penalty of $1,000 per day, per individual, for seeking reimbursement for an individual who is scheduled to attend, but has not attended, the program for 30 days. Day program providers are also to notify regional office administrators of non-attendance. DDD is to provide a guardian or authorized family member with information pertaining to attendance, and provide SRU with a sampling of the monthly attendance reports for SRU to audit. A regional office administrator is also to biannually conduct on-site audits of attendance reports. The bill provides physicians and chief executive officers of hospitals with the authority to take an individual into protective custody if there is suspicion that an injury was inflicted by a staff member. Failure to comply would result in a penalty of $500. The bill also imposes a fine of $250 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense of including an individual's Social Security number on an individualized habilitation plan (IHP), and requires that a copy of an IHP be provided to the community residence for the developmentally disabled where the individual resides, the individual's case manager, the supervisor, as well as the guardian or authorized family members if they are unable to attend the development, revision, or review of an IHP. Lastly, the bill provides for rule making and has a delayed effective date of the 180th day after the date of enactment, and permits prior administrative action in advance of that date.
Human Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee  (on 2/16/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
2/16/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified