P.A. 22-58 AAC the Department of Public Health's Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes. (H.B. 5500)

Home P.A. 22-58 AAC the Department of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Various Revisions to the Public Health Statutes. (H.B. 5500)

Click here to read The Alliance’s testimony on the bill.

The bill makes a number of various, unrelated changes to the public health statutes. Information about select sections is below. To read a detailed analysis of each section of the bill from the Office of Legislative Research, please click here.

§§ 1 & 42-45 — Alcohol or Drug Treatment Facilities

The bill replaces the term “alcohol or drug treatment facility” with “behavioral health facility” in several statutes to reflect current practice.

§ 9 — Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center

The bill makes a technical change to specify that Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center and its psychiatric residential treatment facility units are not exempt from DPH licensure.

§ 10 — Strike Contingency Plans

By law, a licensed health care institution must file a strike contingency plan with the DPH commissioner if the institution is notified by a labor organization representing its employees of its intention to strike.

The bill requires each institution, as part of the strike contingency plan, to include its staffing plan for at least the first three days of the strike. This must include the names and titles of the people who will provide services during this period. Existing regulations already require similar information for certain types of institutions, such as nursing homes and residential care homes (Conn. Agencies Reg., § 19a-497-1).

Under existing law, these institutions must submit their strike contingency plans no later than five days before the date indicated for the strike.

The bill also requires licensed, Medicaid-certified intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IIDs), when submitting strike contingency plans, to submit the same information as required of nursing homes.

§§ 12 & 13 — Medication Administration by Unlicensed Personnel

The bill allows a registered nurse to delegate certain medication administration to home health aides and hospice aides who obtain certification from DCF or DDS, in addition to those certified by DPH, as under current law and requires more frequent certification for home health and hospice aides.

§§ 14, 16, 17 & 55 — Scope of Practice Review

Existing law establishes a process to review requests from representatives of health care professions seeking to establish or revise a scope of practice before consideration by the legislature. Within available appropriations, DPH appoints members to scope of practice review committees. The bill moves up deadlines for certain steps in this process.

§ 51 — Non-Discrimination for Transplants based on Disability

Generally, the bill prohibits deeming someone ineligible to receive an anatomical gift, or organ from a living donor, for transplantation solely because of the person’s physical, mental, or intellectual disability.

§§ 64-66 — Suicide Advisory Board

The bill codifies existing practice by expanding the scope of the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Youth Suicide Advisory Board to address suicide prevention across a person’s lifespan. It correspondingly renames the board as the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board, reflecting existing practice.

It makes conforming changes to the board’s responsibilities to reflect its broader scope, such as requiring the board to develop a statewide strategic suicide prevention plan, not just one focused on youth. The bill specifically adds behavioral health care providers and higher education faculty members to the list of people to whom the board must periodically offer training, within available appropriations. It requires the board’s recommendations to address suicide intervention and response, not just prevention, procedures for schools, communities, and interagency service coordination.

Lastly, the bill specifically allows physicians’ continuing medical education in behavioral health to include training on suicide prevention. By law, physicians generally must complete at least one contact hour of behavioral health continuing education every six years, and a total of 50 contact hours of continuing education every two years, starting with their second license renewal.

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