2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 19a-533. (Formerly Sec. 19-614a). Discrimination against indigent applicants. Definitions. Prohibitions. Record-keeping. Investigation of complaints. Penalties. Waiting lists; not required to accept indigents. Removal from waiting lists.

      Sec. 19a-533. (Formerly Sec. 19-614a). Discrimination against indigent applicants. Definitions. Prohibitions. Record-keeping. Investigation of complaints. Penalties. Waiting lists; not required to accept indigents. Removal from waiting lists. (a) As used in this section, "nursing home" means any chronic and convalescent facility or any rest home with nursing supervision, as defined in section 19a-521, which has a provider agreement with the state to provide services to recipients of funds obtained through Title XIX of the Social Security Amendments of 1965; and "indigent person" means any person who is eligible for or who is receiving medical assistance benefits from the state.

      (b) A nursing home which receives payment from the state for rendering care to indigent persons shall:

      (1) Be prohibited from discriminating against indigent persons who apply for admission to such facility on the basis of source of payment. Except as otherwise provided by law, all applicants for admission to such facility shall be admitted in the order in which such applicants apply for admission. Each nursing home shall (A) provide a receipt to each applicant for admission to its facility who requests placement on a waiting list stating the date and time of such request and (B) maintain a dated list of such applications which shall be available at all times to any applicant, his bona fide representative, authorized personnel from the Departments of Public Health and Social Services and such other state agencies or other bodies established by state statute whose statutory duties necessitate access to such lists. If a nursing home desires to remove the name of an applicant who is unresponsive to facility telephone calls and letters from its waiting list, the nursing home may, no sooner than ninety days after initial placement of the person's name on the waiting list, inquire by letter to such applicant and any one person if designated by such applicant whether the applicant desires continuation of his name on the waiting list. If the applicant does not respond and an additional thirty days pass, the facility may remove such applicant's name from its waiting list. A nursing home may annually send a waiting list placement continuation letter to all persons on the waiting list for at least ninety days to inquire as to whether such person desires continuation of his name on the waiting list, provided such letter shall also be sent to any one person if designated by such applicant. If such person does not respond and at least thirty days pass, the facility may remove the person's name from its waiting list. Indigent persons shall be placed on any waiting list for admission to a facility and shall be admitted to the facility as vacancies become available, in the same manner as self-pay applicants, except as provided in subsections (f) and (g) of this section;

      (2) Post in a conspicuous place a notice informing applicants for admission that the facility is prohibited by statute from discriminating against indigent applicants for admission on the basis of source of payment. Such notice shall advise applicants for admission of the remedies available under this section and shall list the name, address and telephone number of the ombudsman who serves the region in which the facility is located;

      (3) Be prohibited from requiring that an indigent person pay any sum of money or furnish any other consideration, including but not limited to the furnishing of an agreement by the relative, conservator or other responsible party of an indigent person which obligates such party to pay for care rendered to an indigent person as a condition for admission of such indigent person;

      (4) Record in the patient roster, maintained pursuant to the Public Health Code, or in a separate roster maintained for this purpose, the number of patients who are Medicare, Medicaid and private pay patients on each day. Such numbers shall be recorded daily and made available, upon request, to the state or regional ombudsman.

      (c) Upon the receipt of a complaint concerning a violation of this section, the Department of Social Services shall conduct an investigation into such complaint.

      (d) The Department of Social Services is authorized to decrease the daily reimbursement rate to a nursing home for one year for a violation of this section which occurred during the twelve-month period covered by the cost report upon which the per diem rate is calculated. The per diem rate shall be reduced by one-quarter of one per cent for an initial violation of this section and one per cent for each additional violation.

      (e) Prior to imposing any sanction, the Department of Social Services shall notify the nursing home of the alleged violation and the accompanying sanction, and shall permit such facility to request an administrative hearing, in accordance with sections 4-176e to 4-181a, inclusive. A facility shall request such hearing within fifteen days of receipt of the notice of violation from the Department of Social Services. The department shall stay the imposition of any sanction pending the outcome of the administrative hearing.

      (f) A nursing home with a number of self-pay residents equal to or less than thirty per cent of its total number of residents shall not be required to admit an indigent person on a waiting list for admission when a vacancy becomes available during the subsequent six months, provided no bed may be held open for more than thirty days. Each such nursing home meeting the conditions for such waiver shall on a quarterly basis notify the Commissioner of Social Services and the regional nursing home ombudsman office of the date on which such six-month period of waiver began.

      (g) A nursing home shall not be required to admit an indigent person on a waiting list for admission when a vacancy becomes available if the vacancy is in a private room.

      (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a nursing home may, without regard to the order of its waiting list, admit an applicant who seeks to transfer from a nursing home that is closing.

      (P.A. 80-364, S. 1-3; P.A. 84-245; P.A. 88-317, S. 83, 107; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-8, S. 29, 63; P.A. 92-231, S. 2, 10; P.A. 93-262, S. 59, 87; 93-327, S. 1, 4; 93-364; 93-381, S. 9, 39; 93-435, S. 59, 95; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 21, 130; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 129, 165; P.A. 99-176, S. 21, 24; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 74; P.A. 04-76, S. 28.)

      History: Sec. 19-614a transferred to Sec. 19a-533 in 1983; P.A. 84-245 amended Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (b) to require each nursing home to provide a receipt to each applicant for admission and to maintain a dated list of applicants; P.A. 88-317 amended reference to Secs. 4-177 to 4-181 in Subsec. (e) to include new sections added to Ch. 54, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-8 made technical corrections in Subsec. (b) and added Subsecs. (f), (g) and (h) governing admission of indigents to nursing homes and concerning a review of documentation requirements; P.A. 92-231 amended Subsec. (f) by substituting "thirty" per cent for "twenty" per cent, inserted new Subsec. (h) re priority admission for applicants insured under long-term care policies precertified under Sec. 38a-475 and relettered former Subsec. (h) accordingly; P.A. 93-262 and P.A. 93-435 replaced references to departments of income maintenance and aging with department of social services and deleted Subsec. (i) re review of documentation requirements by income maintenance department and suggestions to reduce administrative requirements made to general assembly, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-327 amended Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (b) to describe process for removal of names from a waiting list and Subdiv. (4) to replace requirements re daily log with requirements re patient roster and amended Subsec. (f) to require notice to commissioner of income maintenance and the ombudsman when waiver period begins; P.A. 93-364 deleted former Subsec. (h) allowing nursing homes to fill vacancies on a priority basis for applicants insured under long-term care insurance policies, and would have relettered former Subsec. (i) as (h), but the latter change failed to take effect, Subsec. (i) having been deleted by P.A. 93-262; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 amended Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (b) by making technical changes, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (c) by requiring the Department of Social Services to conduct investigations, in addition to the regional ombudsman, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-176 amended Subsec. (c) to delete reference to the regional ombudsman and delete required report of findings, effective July 1, 1999; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 added new Subsec. (h) re priority given to nursing home applicant seeking to transfer from a nursing home that is closing, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-76 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting reference to "general assistance benefits from a town" in definition of "indigent person".

      See Sec. 17b-400 et seq. re Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman and residents' advocates.

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