(1) The Legislature finds that the federal Medicare program has implemented successful models of managing the medical and supportive-care needs of long-term nursing home residents. These programs have maintained the highest practicable level of good health and have the potential to reduce the incidence of preventable illnesses among long-stay residents of nursing homes, thereby increasing the quality of care for residents and reducing the number of lawsuits against nursing homes. Such models are operated at no cost to the state. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Agency for Health Care Administration replicate such oversight for Medicaid recipients in poor-performing nursing homes and in assisted living facilities and nursing homes that are experiencing disproportionate numbers of lawsuits, with the goal of improving the quality of care in such homes or facilitating the revocation of licensure.
(2) The pilot project must ensure:
(a) Oversight and coordination of all aspects of a resident’s medical care and stay in a nursing home;
(b) Facilitation of close communication between the resident, the resident’s guardian or legal representative, the resident’s attending physician, the resident’s family, and staff of the nursing facility;
(c) Frequent onsite visits to the resident;
(d) Early detection of medical or quality problems that have the potential to lead to adverse outcomes and unnecessary hospitalization;
(e) Close communication with regulatory staff;
(f) Immediate investigation of resident quality-of-care complaints and communication and cooperation with the appropriate entity to address those complaints, including the ombudsman, state agencies, agencies responsible for Medicaid program integrity, and local law enforcement agencies;
(g) Assistance to the resident or the resident’s representative to relocate the resident if quality-of-care issues are not otherwise addressed; and
(h) Use of Medicare and other third-party funds to support activities of the program, to the extent possible.
(3) The agency shall model the pilot project activities after such Medicare-approved demonstration projects.
(4) The agency may contract to provide similar oversight services to Medicaid recipients.
(5) The agency shall, jointly with the Statewide Public Guardianship Office, develop a system in the pilot project areas to identify Medicaid recipients who are residents of a participating nursing home or assisted living facility who have diminished ability to make their own decisions and who do not have relatives or family available to act as guardians in nursing homes listed on the Nursing Home Guide Watch List. The agency and the Statewide Public Guardianship Office shall give such residents priority for publicly funded guardianship services.