CSSB 56(L&C): "An Act allowing the disclosure of reports with regard to inspection and investigations of certain health care facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, and assisted living homes; authorizing the Department of Health and Social Services to license home health agencies; and providing for an effective date."
00CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 56(L&C) 01 "An Act allowing the disclosure of reports with regard to inspection and 02 investigations of certain health care facilities, home health agencies, hospice 03 programs, and assisted living homes; authorizing the Department of Health and 04 Social Services to license home health agencies; and providing for an effective 05 date." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section 1. AS 18.18 is amended by adding a new section to read: 08 Sec. 18.18.350. Disclosure of information. (a) A final report on deficiencies 09 and approved plans of correction that is prepared by the department after a licensure 10 inspection or investigation of a hospice program it licenses under this chapter shall be 11 made available by the department to the public within 14 calendar days after the final 12 report is made available to the hospice program being reviewed. 13 (b) The department may not publicly disclose information that identifies clients 14 of the program under review.
01 * Sec. 2. AS 18.18 is amended by adding new sections to read: 02 Article 4. Home Health Agencies. 03 Sec. 18.18.410. Purpose; applicability. (a) The purpose of AS 18.18.410 - 04 18.18.490 is to promote safe and adequate home health services for individuals by 05 setting standards for home health agencies that will ensure quality of care, safeguard 06 patient's rights, and otherwise protect public health, safety, and welfare. 07 (b) AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490 and the regulations adopted under those sections 08 apply to agencies for which licensure is required under AS 18.18.430. 09 Sec. 18.18.420. Powers of department. The department may 10 (1) license home health agencies; 11 (2) inspect applicants and licensees, including subunits and branches 12 of the licensee, and persons that the department reasonably believes are operating an 13 agency without a license in violation of this chapter; 14 (3) consistent with the purposes identified in AS 18.18.410, adopt 15 regulations to implement AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490, including regulations establishing 16 licensure and renewal procedures, inspection procedures, standards, fees, and 17 requirements for operation of home health agencies; 18 (4) accept accreditation by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation 19 of Health Organizations or another national accreditation organization recognized by 20 the department in lieu of an inspection of a home health agency by the department for 21 the year in which the accreditation was granted if the accreditation standards are 22 substantially similar to the inspection standards of the department. 23 Sec. 18.18.430. License required. (a) An entity that establishes, conducts, 24 or represents itself to the public as a home health agency must have a license from the 25 department authorizing it to be a home health agency under AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490. 26 (b) A parent agency or subunit of a home health agency must be located in the 27 state. Each subunit must independently meet the requirements of this section and be 28 issued a separate license. A branch office of the parent agency or of one of its 29 subunits is not required to independently meet the requirements for licensure. 30 Sec. 18.18.440. Application for license. Application for a license to operate 31 a home health agency shall be made to the department on a form provided by the
01 department and shall be accompanied by applicable fees established by the department 02 under AS 18.18.420. 03 Sec. 18.18.450. Issuance and renewal of license. (a) Upon receipt of an 04 application for license and the license fee, the department shall issue a license if the 05 applicant meets the requirements established under AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490. If the 06 applicant does not meet the requirements established under AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490 07 but makes continued efforts to comply with them, the department may grant a 08 temporary or provisional license for a limited period of time. 09 (b) Each license issued is for the person, agency, corporation, partnership, 10 association, or other form of organization named on the application and is not 11 transferable or assignable except with the written approval of the department. 12 (c) The department shall establish the standards for license renewal and 13 determine the renewal period by regulation. 14 (d) A license is not renewable if it has been suspended or revoked under 15 AS 18.18.460. 16 Sec. 18.18.460. Denial, suspension, or revocation of license. (a) The 17 department may deny, change to a provisional license, or revoke a home health agency 18 application or license if the department finds that the agency 19 (1) has endangered or would endanger the health, safety, or welfare of 20 a patient; 21 (2) has a history of deficiencies in quality of care; 22 (3) has had a license to operate a home health agency revoked in any 23 licensing jurisdiction; 24 (4) has been convicted of operating a home health agency without a 25 license in any licensing jurisdiction; 26 (5) lacks a sufficient number of personnel who have the training, 27 experience, or judgment to provide adequate patient care; 28 (6) has committed fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or dishonesty 29 associated with the application for or operation of a home health agency in any 30 licensing jurisdiction; or 31 (7) has violated regulations adopted under AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490.
01 (b) The department may, without a hearing, summarily suspend a home health 02 agency license if it finds that the actions or deficiencies of the agency cause an 03 immediate and serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. A summary 04 suspension remains in effect until the department finds that the actions or deficiencies 05 are corrected or the license is revoked. 06 (c) The department may, without a hearing, change a home health agency 07 license to a provisional license for a period of time established by the department if 08 the department finds that an agency is temporarily unable to comply with 09 AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490 or is in the Medicare decertification process, but is taking 10 the appropriate steps necessary to bring the agency into compliance. An agency 11 holding a provisional license may not accept new patients. If the agency fails to 12 correct its deficiencies within the provisional license period, the department shall 13 revoke that agency's license. 14 (d) Application denial and revocation actions by the department shall be 15 conducted under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act). 16 Sec. 18.18.470. Disclosure of information. (a) A final report on deficiencies 17 and approved plans of correction that is prepared by the department after a licensure 18 inspection or investigation of a home health agency it licenses under this chapter shall 19 be made available by the department to the public within 14 calendar days after the 20 final report is made available to the home health agency being reviewed. 21 (b) The department may not publicly disclose information that identifies 22 patients or clients of the home health agency under review. 23 Sec. 18.18.490. Definitions. In AS 18.18.410 - 18.18.490, 24 (1) "branch" means an office location from which a home health 25 agency provides service within a portion of the total geographic area served by the 26 parent home health agency and that is sufficiently close in geographic proximity to the 27 parent home health agency that it shares administration, supervision, and services on 28 a daily basis; 29 (2) "department" means the Department of Health and Social Services; 30 (3) "geographic area" means the location, site, or address of the clients 31 served by the parent home health agency or its parents or subunits;
01 (4) "home health agency" means a public agency or private 02 organization, or a subdivision of a public agency or private organization, that primarily 03 engages in providing skilled nursing services in combination with physical therapy, 04 occupational therapy, speech therapy, or services provided by a home health aide to 05 individuals in the individual's home, an assisted living home, or another residential 06 setting; 07 (5) "parent home health agency" means a licensed home health agency, 08 which may have branches or subunits; 09 (6) "subdivision" means a component of a multi-function home health 10 agency, such as the home care division of a hospital or the nursing division of a health 11 agency, that independently meets the requirements for a licensure as a home health 12 agency; 13 (7) "subunit" means a home health agency that provides services 14 beyond the geographic area served by the parent home health agency and is unable to 15 share administration, supervision, and services on a daily basis with the parent home 16 health agency. 17 * Sec. 3. AS 18.20.090 is repealed and reenacted to read: 18 Sec. 18.20.090. Disclosure of information. (a) A final report on deficiencies 19 and approved plans of correction that is prepared by the department after a licensure 20 inspection or investigation of a facility or entity it licenses under this chapter shall be 21 made available by the department to the public within 14 calendar days after the final 22 report is made available to the facility or entity being reviewed. 23 (b) The department may not publicly disclose information that identifies 24 patients or clients of the facility or entity under review. 25 * Sec. 4. AS 47.33.520(e) is amended to read: 26 (e) Except as otherwise provided in AS 47.33.500(c), 27 (1) a completed investigation report [REPORTS] and a response 28 [RESPONSES] from a home [HOMES] are public records ; and 29 (2) a final report on deficiencies and approved plans of correction 30 that is prepared by a licensing agency after a licensure inspection or investigation 31 of a home it licenses under this chapter shall be made available by the licensing
01 agency to the public within 14 calendar days after the final report is made 02 available to the home being reviewed . 03 * Sec. 5. TRANSITION. A department affected by this Act may proceed to adopt 04 regulations necessary to implement this Act. Regulations to implement a provision of this Act 05 take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date 06 of secs. 1 - 4 of this Act. 07 * Sec. 6. REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION. In AS 18.18.005 - 18.18.390, the revisor of 08 statutes shall substitute "AS 18.18.005 - 18.18.390" for "this chapter." 09 * Sec. 7. Section 5 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).