§3 - Note
An Act concerning governmental home health care agencies and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Notwithstanding any provision of Title 26 of the Revised Statutes or any regulation promulgated thereunder to the contrary, a county or municipal government that is the licensed operator of a home health agency may contract with a non-governmental entity that is licensed as a home health care agency to provide direct services, administration, and financial services on behalf of the governmental home health care agency, provided that the governmental body that is the licensed operator retains ultimate control over key governance responsibilities. Any such contractual arrangement shall be subject to approval by the Department of Health. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede any applicable law or regulation concerning public bidding, licensure of non-governmental home health care agencies, or reimbursement for publicly funded health care programs.
2. The Commissioner of Health shall, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt any rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, except that the Commissioner of Health may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.
This bill would permit a government-owned home health agency to contract with a non-governmental entity that is licensed as a home health care agency to provide direct services, administration, and financial services. Current regulations at N.J.A.C.8:42-3.1 require a licensed home health agency to routinely provide nursing services through its own staff, allowing an agency to retain nursing services by contract only (1) temporarily because all available employees have achieved maximum caseloads; or (2) to provide specialized care that is not within either the expertise or scope of practice of existing staff. This bill would allow governmental home health agencies to contract with non-governmental agencies to deliver services on a longer-term basis.
Under the bill, a contract between a governmental home health care agency and a non-governmental contractor must leave ultimate control over key governance responsibilities to the governmental body that is the licensed operator. Any such contractual arrangement would be subject to approval by the Department of Health. Nothing in the bill would supersede any applicable law or regulation concerning public bidding, licensure of non-governmental home health care agencies, or reimbursement for publicly funded health care programs.
It is the sponsor's belief that county and municipal governments continue to have an important role in providing public health care services to their residents that can be essential to ensure quality health care services are available to all underserved residents, irrespective of their ability to pay. However, governmental health care agencies are often faced with challenges in the efficient delivery of health care services not faced by private entities, and these challenges can negatively affect their ability to serve as critical access providers. By granting more flexibility to contract for services, these governmental health care agencies can better serve their missions to provide needed health care to their residents.
Expands option of governmental home health care agency to partner with non-governmental providers to deliver health care services.