The NJ Department of Human Services, Office of Licensing, has just issued an Information Bulletin which outlines the requirements for licensed community residences which participate in the State’s Medicaid Home & Community Based Waiver Programs. These “waiver programs” include a diverse array of settings such as Boarding Homes, Group Homes, Assisted Living, apartment buildings individual houses or condos. How might this affect someone you care about?
Here is the Bulletin:OOL Bulletin – 09 20 22 – Privacy in residential living spaces
Licensed providers must ensure that individuals who reside in provider- owned or controlled settings have the means to lock and unlock their homes and their bedroom doors, so that they have privacy in their residential living spaces. According to the Bulletin, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has specific requirements for provider-owned or controlled residential settings in the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Final Rule. Among those requirements is the expectation that waiver participants are assured privacy within their homes and bedrooms. Among the detailed specific requirements :
In a provider-owned or controlled residential setting, in addition to the qualities at §441.301(c)(4)(i) through (v),
the following additional conditions must be met:
A. Each individual has privacy in their sleeping or living unit.
B. Units have entrance doors lockable by the individual, with only appropriate providers having keys to doors.
These requirements must be met by December 1, 2022.”
Can these requirements be avoided? The Bulletin states that the fundamental policy is that “Individuals have the right to privacy within their homes (house, apartment, condominium, etc.) and bedroom unless there is an identified and documented health or safety concern. In such cases, the health and safety concern must be based on individually assessed needs and documented in the Individualized Service Plan. For individuals enrolled in the programs of the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), the Support Coordinator/Case Manager is responsible for ensuring that the Individualized Service Plan documents the modifications to these privacy rules at the time the initial modifications are made, and that periodic reviews are done to be sure that such modifications are still necessary.
Residents, Guardians and involved family members should get familiar with these new directive so as to speak up and protect these privacy rights.
Call for consultation on Medicaid waiver program issues ……….. 732-382-6070