Chapter 130
2019 -- S 0294
Enacted 07/08/2019

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Senator Maryellen Goodwin
Date Introduced: February 13, 2019

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Sections 40-8.11-1 and 40-8.11-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 40-8.11
entitled "Family Caregivers Support Act of 2013" are hereby amended to read as follows:
     40-8.11-1. Findings.
     (a) Family members, partners and close friends provide the vast majority of long-term
services and supports.
     (b) An estimated one hundred and forty-eight thousand (148,000) persons in Rhode
Island are providing care at any one time to persons living in the community. The estimated value
of their unpaid contributions in 2009 was one billion eight hundred eighty million dollars
     (c) Family or other caregivers who provide the majority of care in the home are
frequently under substantial physical, psychological, and financial stress. The stress, if unrelieved
by support for the caregiver, may lead to premature or unnecessary nursing home and institutional
placement and health and financial burdens for the caregiver.
     (d) Respite care and other community-based supportive services for the family caregiver
can relive relieve some of the stresses faced by caregivers,; maintain and strengthen the family
structure,; postpone or prevent institutionalization; and lead to better outcomes for both the
caregiver and care recipient.
     (e) The percent of Rhode Islanders age sixty-five (65) years of age and older is projected
to grow from fourteen percent (14%) of the state population in 2010 to twenty-one percent (21%)
by 2030. As persons age, they have greater dependency needs and an increased need for long-
term-care services and support. Younger people with disabilities also require continued
supportive long-term-care services as they age.
     (f) As informal caregivers and families are a vital part of the long-term-care services and
support system, it is an important public purpose to recognize and respect their contributions,;
and to assess and support their needs,; and to provide them with counseling, education, and
support services.
     40-8.11-3. Caregiver assessment requirement.
     (a) The comprehensive assessment required in subsection ยง 40-8.10-4(b) as part of
Medicaid long-term service reform shall also include a caregiver assessment whenever the plan of
care depends on a family caregiver for providing assistance with activities of daily living or
instrumental activities of daily living needs. The assessment shall be used to develop a plan of
care that recognizes both needs of the care recipient and the caregiver. The assessment shall also
serve as the basis for development and provision of an appropriate plan for caregiver information,
education and training, referral and support services. Information about available respite
programs, caregiver training and education programs, support groups, and community support
services shall be included as part of the caregiver support plan. To implement the caregiver
assessment, the executive office of health and human services shall adopt evidenced-based
caregiver assessments and referral tools appropriate to the departments within the office that
provide long-term-care services and support.
     (b) The executive office of health and human services shall develop annual reports to
track data on the number of caregiver assessments conducted,; the identified needs of caregivers
to include both met and unmet needs,; and referrals made for education, respite, and other support
services. The reports shall be provided to the chairs of the house and senate finance committees
as part of annual budget hearings and the chair of the long-term-care coordinating council and
posted on the executive office of health and human services website.
     SECTION 2. Section 42-66-4 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-66 entitled "Elderly
Affairs Department" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     42-66-4. Duties of the division.
     (a) The division shall be the principal agency of the state to mobilize the human,
physical, and financial resources available to plan, develop, and implement innovative programs
to ensure the dignity and independence of elderly persons, including the planning, development,
and implementation of a home- and long-term-care program for the elderly in the communities of
the state.
     (b)(1) The division shall serve as an advocate for the needs of the adult with a disability
as these needs and services overlap the needs and services of elderly persons.
     (2) The division shall serve as the state's central agency for the administration and
coordination of a long-term-care entry system, using community-based access points, that will
provide the following services related to long-term care: information and referral; initial
screening for service and benefits eligibility; and a uniform assessment program for state-
supported long-term care.
     (3) The division shall investigate reports of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-
neglect and shall provide and/or coordinate protective services.
     (c) To accomplish these objectives, the director is authorized:
     (1) To provide assistance to communities in solving local problems with regard to elderly
persons including, but not limited to, problems in identifying and coordinating local resources to
serve the needs of elderly persons;
     (2) To facilitate communications and the free flow of information between communities
and the offices, agencies, and employees of the state;
     (3) To encourage and assist communities, agencies, and state departments to plan,
develop, and implement home- and long-term care programs;
     (4) To provide and act as a clearinghouse for information, data, and other materials
relative to elderly persons;
     (5) To initiate and carry out studies and analyses that will aid in solving local, regional,
and statewide problems concerning elderly persons;
     (6) To coordinate those programs of other state agencies designed to assist in the solution
of local, regional, and statewide problems concerning elderly persons;
     (7) To advise and inform the governor on the affairs and problems of elderly persons in
the state;
     (8) To exercise the powers and discharge the duties assigned to the director in the fields
of health care, nutrition, homemaker services, geriatric day care, economic opportunity, local and
regional planning, transportation, and education and pre-retirement programs;
     (9) To further the cooperation of local, state, federal, and private agencies and institutions
providing for services or having responsibility for elderly persons;
     (10) To represent and act on behalf of the state in connection with federal grant programs
applicable to programs for elderly persons in the functional areas described in this chapter;
     (11) To seek, accept, and otherwise take advantage of all federal aid available to the
division, and to assist other agencies of the state, local agencies, and community groups in taking
advantage of all federal grants and subventions available for elderly persons and to accept other
sources of funds with the approval of the director of administration that shall be deposited as
general revenues;
     (12) To render advice and assistance to communities and other groups in the preparation
and submission of grant applications to state and federal agencies relative to programs for elderly
     (13) To review and coordinate those activities of agencies of the state and of any political
subdivision of the state at the request of the subdivision, that affect the full and fair utilization of
community resources for programs for elderly persons, and initiate programs that will help ensure
such utilization;
     (14) To encourage the formation of councils on aging and to assist local communities in
the development of the councils;
     (15) To promote and coordinate day-care facilities for the frail elderly who are in need of
supportive care and supervision during the daytime;
     (16) To provide and coordinate the delivery of in-home services to the elderly, as defined
under the rules and regulations adopted by the division of elderly affairs;
     (17) To advise and inform the public of the risks of accidental hypothermia;
     (18) To establish a clearinghouse for information and education of the elderly citizens of
the state, including, but not limited to, and subject to available funding, a web-based caregiver
support information center;
     (19) To establish and operate, in collaboration with the department of behavioral
healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals; the department of human services; the
department of children, youth and families, and community and aging service agencies supporting
caregivers, a statewide family-caregiver support association and a family-caregiver resource
network to provide and coordinate family-caregiver training and support services to include
counseling and elder caregiver respite services, which shall be subject to available funding, and
include home health/homemaker care, adult day services, assisted living, and nursing facility
care; and
     (20) To supervise the citizens' commission for the safety and care of the elderly created
pursuant to the provisions of chapter 1.4 of title 12.
     (d) In order to assist in the discharge of the duties of the division, the director may
request from any agency of the state information pertinent to the affairs and problems of elderly
     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.