KABC has been working diligently to further bills of importance to aging Kansans

Passage of Charlie’s Bill (HB 2246/SB 191)

The House Judiciary Committee adopted an amended version of Charlie’s Bill (HB 2246) and passed the bill out of committee. However, Charlie’s Bill was never worked by the full house; it died on general orders. Committee members supported the amendments because they believed that enforcement of the 30-day notification was the most impactful piece of the bill, rather than the appeals process.

The amended bill:  Removed all appeals process and active review by Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) for regular and emergency proceedings.

What is left? The bill still:

  • Maintains the regulation requirements into statute including the 30-day notice requirement and reasons for a voluntary discharge
  • Maintains the emergency removal provisions
  • Requires copies of all 30-day notices and emergency notices be provided to Long-term Care Ombudsman and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and maintained for three years
  • Requires an affirmative statement from the facility of what services are necessary and not provided for in the existing contract necessitating the move
  • Grants KDADS the authority to investigate and issue a civil penalty up to $5,000 for violations of the notice and reasons to discharge requirements
  • Requires an annual report from the ombudsman regarding notices and violations of these provisions

Charlie’s Bill companion in the Senate – SB 191 – led by Charlie’s wife Rachel Imthurn, KABC, and other supporters is also dead for the remainder of the session as it did not make it out of its house of origin. The Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare did not work Charlie’s Bill.

Opposition to lowering staff training requirements in Kansas nursing facilities: (HB 2049):

The House Health and Human Services Committee did not work this bill and it is dead for the remainder of the session. HB 2049 did not make it out of its house of origin. There is no proven correlation or causation that education & training is a barrier or deterrent to seeking employment in the long-term care industry. States such as Texas and Illinois are investing in long-term care direct care staff with compensation, skill-building and other types of enrichment activity to strengthen professionalism. Both Texas and Illinois have higher certified nursing assistant (CNA) training requirements than Kansas and yet both are in the top 1/3 of the nation in facility staffing. Those in opposition to HB 2049 provided strong testimony, receiving positive reception from members of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

To restore or expand independent case management services to people served by the
Medicaid Frail Elderly, Physically Disabled and Brain Injury waivers: 

KABC provided testimony in support of the enhancements offered in the Governor’s KDADS budget. In addition to those enhancements, KABC ask to add $5.25 million State General Funds to restore funding for independent case management services for the 13,800 persons served by the Frail Elderly, Physically Disabled and Brain Injury Medicaid waivers. While the funds for case management will not be included in this KDADS budget, there is still an opportunity to reallocate the funds from certain KanCare contracts during their renewal process. The original funding for case management was rolled into certain KanCare contracts in 2013.