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health care treatment and services in alternative settings is a responsible solution for seniors and others,who have limited mobility, live in rural areas, and or where there may be a lack of health careprofessionals.
Strides Made to Address Elder Abuse in Congregate Care
AARP MD strongly supported
HB 57/SB 355 Office of Health Care Quality - Abuser Registry Workgroup
which reestablishes the Abuser Registry Workgroup by the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) in theDepartment of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Currently, hiring managers in nursing homes,assisted living and other congregate care facilities are not alerted to past convictions or infractions forelder abuse by prospective staff. The legislation develops a state wide registry to collect this informationand provide hiring managers with a tool to potentially limit further abuse. AARP MD was the sole senioradvocate in support of an abuser registry and did so with both verbal and written testimony. Protectingvulnerable adults is a priority for AARP MD
who will continue to push for protections until a law ispassed and will work with the workgroup during the interim to ensure a bill is introduced and passed.
Older Marylanders Gain Clarity Around Costs and Billing Implications
An article in the AARP Bulletin brought this bill to the attention of Senator Delores Kelley. AARP MDsupported
SB 195/HB 1062 Hospitals - Notice to Patients - Outpatient Status and Billing
which requiresa hospital to provide oral and written notice to a patient regarding: the
patient’s outpatient status,
thebilling implications of outpatient status, and the impact of outpatient status on their eligibility forMedicare rehabilitation services if that patient is not formally admitted. AARP MD supported this bill andassisted Senator Kelley with drafting and background information. This bill will save 65+ recipients of Medicare thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. This new legislation provides clarity andunderstanding around patient financial responsibilities when a patient is being seen by the hospital butnot admitted.
Single Point of Entry for Community Based Resources
A bill designed to provide access to home and community based resources
SB 83 Department of Aging - Aging and Disability Resource Center Program - Maryland Access Point
classifies the establishment of the Aging and Disability Resource Center Program (ADRC)
known as the “Maryland Access Point” (MAP) –
in the Maryland Department of Aging (MDoA). This bill requires a single point of entry for Marylandersto access resources vital to aging in place. A priority for AARP MD, we supported this bill with verbal andwritten testimony. In addition, AARP MD lobbied for an amendment that would include the MarylandDepartment of Human Resources (DHR). DHR administers scores of programs and resources that arevital to aging in place
including home health aides, adult services programs and energy assistance. TheGeneral Assembly was convinced and the bill with the amendment passed.
Palliative Care in a Hospital
AARP MD strongly
HB 581 Hospitals - Establishment of Palliative Care Pilot Programs
whichrequire the establishment of at least five, geographically based, palliative care pilot programs in 50+ bedhospitals. Along with other health and senior advocates, AARP MD supported this bill with verbal andwritten testimony. As a health care option, palliative care offers patients an alternative to standardmedical care with oversight by professional health care staff in a hospital setting.