Substitute House Bill No. 6803

Public Act No. 99-130

An Act Concerning Home Health Care Rates.

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

Section 17b-242 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Social Services shall determine the rates to be [charged by] paid to home health care agencies and homemaker-home health aide agencies [and the rates to be paid to such agencies] by the state or any town in the state for persons aided or cared for by the state or any such town. For the period from February 1, 1991, to January 31, 1992, inclusive, payment for each service to the state shall be based upon the rate for such service as determined by the Office of Health Care Access, except that for those providers whose Medicaid rates for the year ending January 31, 1991, exceed the median rate, no increase shall be allowed. For those providers whose rates for the year ending January 31, 1991, are below the median rate, increases shall not exceed the lower of the prior rate increased by the most recent annual increase in the consumer price index for urban consumers or the median rate. In no case shall any such rate exceed the eightieth percentile of rates in effect January 31, 1991, nor shall any rate exceed the charge to the general public for similar services. Rates effective February 1, 1992, shall be based upon rates as determined by the Office of Health Care Access, except that increases shall not exceed the prior year's rate increased by the most recent annual increase in the consumer price index for urban consumers and rates effective February 1, 1992, shall remain in effect through June 30, 1993. Rates effective July 1, 1993, shall be based upon rates as determined by the Office of Health Care Access pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of section 19a-635, except if the Medicaid rates for any service for the period ending June 30, 1993, [exceeds] exceed the median rate for such service, the increase effective July 1, 1993, shall not exceed one per cent. If the Medicaid rate for any service for the period ending June 30, 1993, is below the median rate, the increase effective July 1, 1993, shall not exceed the lower of the prior rate increased by one and one-half times the most recent annual increase in the consumer price index for urban consumers or the median rate plus one per cent. The Commissioner of Social Services shall establish a fee schedule for home health services to be effective on and after July 1, 1994. The commissioner may annually increase any fee in the fee schedule based on an increase in the cost of services. The fee schedule may be phased in over a two-year period during which no agency shall be paid for a service in an amount which varies by more than ten per cent from the payment made for the service in the preceding fiscal year. The commissioner may increase any fee payable to a home health care agency or homemaker-home health aide agency upon the application of such an agency evidencing extraordinary costs related to (1) serving persons with AIDS; (2) high-risk maternal and child health care; (3) escort services; or (4) extended hour services. In no case shall any rate or fee exceed the charge to the general public for similar services. A home health care agency or homemaker-home health aide agency which, due to any material change in circumstances, is aggrieved by a rate determined pursuant to this [section] subsection may, within ten days of receipt of written notice of such rate from the Commissioner of Social Services, request in writing a hearing on all items of aggrievement. The commissioner shall, upon the receipt of all documentation necessary to evaluate the request, determine whether there has been such a change in circumstances and shall conduct a hearing if appropriate. The Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this [section] subsection. The commissioner may implement policies and procedures to carry out the provisions of this [section] subsection while in the process of adopting regulations, provided notice of intent to adopt the regulations is published in the Connecticut Law Journal within twenty days of implementing the policies and procedures. Such policies and procedures shall be valid for not longer than nine months.

(b) The Department of Social Services shall monitor the rates charged by home health care agencies and homemaker-home health aide agencies. Such agencies shall file annual cost reports and service charge information with the department.

Approved June 8, 1999

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