Montana State Legislature

HJR 50: Senior and Long-Term Care

House Joint Resolution 50 requested a study of the Senior and Long-Term Care Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services. The committee agreed at its June 2019 meeting to devote slightly more than 25% of the committee's time to the study. 

The committee kicked off the study in September 2019 by hearing a Department of Public Health and Human Services presentation on the three Medicaid-funded home and community-based services programs that the agency administers: the Personal Assistance (PAS) program, the Community First Choice (CFC) program, and the Big Sky Waiver.

In November, members heard about issues of importance to nursing home and assisted living providers. The committee shifted its focus to home health services in January, hearing from service providers and from program participants about the barriers and challenges to providing and accessing services, including problems stemming from workforce shortages.

The committee was slated to hear about other aging services programs in Montana in March, but canceled its meeting  because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Members instead took up that topic in May, hearing from representatives of AARP, Area Agencies on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association, as well as the Adult Protective Services Bureau of DPHHS.

During a subsequent brainstorming session on the HJR 50 study, members agreed that the COVID-19 situation is likely to result in reduced revenues for the next two-year budget period and make it less likely that the 2021 Legislature will approve significant changes to  senior and long-term care services. They decided to review bill drafts in June that would institute limited changes at a potentially minimal cost. The drafts will focus on:

  • the Medically Needy program;
  • rulemaking requirements for some program changes;
  • clarification of the legislative intent of waiver services;
  • and notification before revocation or denial of waiver services.   

The committee will decide whether to pursue those ideas after taking public comment on the drafts in June.

Bill Drafts

  • HJR 50-1: Clarifying Medically Needy Program Requirements
  • HJR 50-2: Requiring 30-Day Notification Before Termination of Services
  • HJR 50-3: Requiring Rulemaking for Substantive Changes
  • HJR 50-4: Establishing Legislative Intent for Waiver Services
  • Briefing Paper: Bill Draft Considerations, June 2020

Study Materials

 

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