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How Marylanders 50+ Fared in the 2013General Assembly by AARP MD

How Marylanders 50+ Fared in the 2013General Assembly by AARP MD

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Published by AARP Maryland
2013 Legislative Wrap Up on issues important to Marylanders 50+
2013 Legislative Wrap Up on issues important to Marylanders 50+

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Published by: AARP Maryland on Apr 19, 2013
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04/19/2013

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PageStay Connected with AARP Maryland www.aarp.org/md * facebook.com/AARPMD * Twitter: @AARP MD
The 2013 legislative session was a win for Marylander 50+ but there is still work to be done. Legislativewins were made in the areas of elder safety, single point of entry for Home and Community BasedServices, healthcare coverage, resources for aging in place, consumer protections, retirement security,and AARP MD work resulted in a slight increase in the budgets that affect older Marylanders! AARP MDhad hoped to have more consumer protections in place for 50+ Marylanders with regard to retirementsecurity, banking protections and utility affordability and will continue to work with decision makers andadvocates to bring 50+ issues to the forefront. Success this session is due to the core of outstandingvolunteers who gave their time and talents, week after week, in Annapolis and made their voices heard!
Cross-PortfolioAARP MD Supports the Recognition of 100+ Year Old Marylanders.
Recognizing and celebrating Maryland citizens over the age of 100 is important
they represent wherewe have been and where we are going.
SB 175 - Centenarians Day 
 –
passed, requiring that theGovernor, annually, proclaim the second Thursday in May as Maryland Centenarians Day. This bill wasintroduced every session for the past few years without success. AARP MD signed on in 2013 withwritten and verbal testimony, resulting in unanimous passage in both chambers.
Aging Advisory Council Transferred to Aging Commission
In a transfer of responsibility,
SB 346
– 
Innovations in Aging Services Program
Commission on Agingrepeals the Innovations in Aging Services Advisory Council 
moves responsibilities of the Council to theInnovations in Aging Services Program Commission. The Commission will advise the Secretary of Agingabout competitive funding grants for innovative ideas and programs for seniors, publicly disseminatingtest results, and helping meet the need for trained personnel to provide services to Maryland seniors. Anactive advisory council is important to Maryland. Marylanders age 65 and older are outpacing school agechildren two to one. With an influx of seniors it will be important for the Advisory Council to makerecommendations to the Governor and Legislature so that resources, programs and issues that affectseniors are funded. AARP MD, Maryland Senior Active Seniors Network and other advocates testified insupport of the transfer.
My HealthVictory for Home and Community Based Services in Maryland
An alternative to current health care delivery,
SB 496 Maryland Medical Assistance Program
 
– 
 
Telemedicine,
requires the Medicaid program, unless otherwise specifically prohibited or limited byfederal or State law, to reimburse a health care provider for a health care service delivered bytelemedicine in the same manner as the same health care service is reimbursed when delivered inperson. Telemedicine becomes a necessary alternative to inpatient doctor visits, especially forhomebound individuals. AARP MD supported this bill with written and verbal testimony because offering
 
How Marylanders 50+ Fared in the2013 General Assembly
 
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PageStay Connected with AARP Maryland www.aarp.org/md * facebook.com/AARPMD * Twitter: @AARP MD
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
supported
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.
 
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PageStay Connected with AARP Maryland www.aarp.org/md * facebook.com/AARPMD * Twitter: @AARP MD
Patients Have the Right to Know
AARP MD supported with written and verbal testimony
SB 512 Health Care Practitioners - IdentificationBadge.
This bill requires a health care practitioner to wear a name badge or other form of identificationwhen providing health care to a patient. The badge or other form of identification must display in readily
visible type the health care practitioner’s name
, title and/or role.
“Health care practitioner” means a
person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized under the Health Occupations Article toprovide health care services. AARP MD joined the House and Senate sponsors in support of this bill.Often patients who are in rehab, assisted living and other health care settings do not know who is takingcare of them which often lead to confusion and the patient being upset. This bill requires that any healthcare person providing care must disclose to patients their name and occupation.
Marylanders Gain Access to Health Insurance
A high priority for AARP MD is access to health insurance and health insurance carriers at a fair andreasonable cost for all Marylanders.
HB 228 Maryland Health Progress Act of 2013
expands Medicaideligibility by modifying State law to further implement federal health care reform under the federalPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill establishes a dedicated funding stream for theMaryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) from the insurance premium tax on health insurers and for-profit health maintenance organizations (HMOs), provides for the transition of Maryland HealthInsurance Plan (MHIP) enrollees into MHBE, establishes a State reinsurance program, and establishescontinuity-of-care requirements. AARP MD joined health insurance professionals, small businesses, andother health care advocates with written and verbal support of HB 228. The provisions of this bill willmake it easier for Marylanders who are uninsured or self- insured access to health insurance and keepsMaryland in compliance with the ACA.
Advanced Directives Registry Becomes Law
SB 790 requires the state to develop and hold an advanced directive registry accessible by both citizensand medical professionals. AARP MD provided both verbal and written testimony in support of this billand took the position that the wishes of the person in question should be easily accessible especiallywhen that person is unable to make decisions due to unforeseen illness, accident or other situation thatmakes decision impaired. The General Assembly agreed
Marylanders will now have the option of filingtheir Advanced Directives with the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
My Home and FamilyVulnerable Adult Facilities Given Priority during Power Outages
Safety in nursing and assisted living facilities is a necessity and when the lights go out
safety is an issue.
HB 1159 Electric Companies - Service Restoration - Prioritized Facilities
requires the Public ServiceCommission (PSC) to adopt regulations that implement service quality and reliability standards relating tothe delivery of electricity to a
prioritized facility
. HB 1159 also requires The Secretary of Health andMental Hygiene to establish and provide a list of prioritized facilities to each electric company for itsservice territory and each electric company must post the name and address of each prioritized facility
that operates in the company’s service territory on its web
site. In addition, each electric company mustsubmit to PSC an annual performance report for each service interruption to a prioritized facility that

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