SB 0947 Revises the licensure of home health care agencies under the Department of Health
LR Number:4273L.06C Fiscal Note:4273-06
Committee:Public Health and Welfare
Last Action:03/09/00 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Public Health & Welfare Committee Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2000
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 947 - This act revises the licensure of home health care companies under the Department of Health. Section 197.400, RSMo, revises definitions relating to home health. Three new categories of home health services are created:

1. Paraprofessional home care category: Services that are unskilled in nature and may include certain limited nursing services and may require a plan or care or signed order.

2. Home health category: Services that must meet Medicare home health standards.

3. Professional home care category: Services that are skilled in nature and provided by a health care professional that may require a plan of care or signed order.

Section 197.405, RSMo, prohibits any provider from holding itself out as any category of home health company without a license. The paraprofessional category may elect to be regulated by the Division of Aging, rather than the Department of Health.

Section 197.410, RSMo, requires annual renewal of licenses. The Department shall review each application and inspect the company for compliance at least once a year during the first three years of contract and at least once every other year during the following three years.

Section 197.415, RSMo, allows the Department to issue temporary operating permits during the application review process, if necessary. Licenses issued to the company must be posted and must state the category of licensure, among other requirements. Companies must notify the Department of relocation in order to revise the license. The Department may accept reviews of other federal or state agencies in lieu of its own review if such reviews comply with Department requirements.

Section 197.420, RSMo, currently prohibits a license transfer and, instead, requires a new license to be issued. New language allows the issuance of temporary operating permits during the review of companies who have changed ownership.

Section 197.422, RSMo, requires the submission of statistical reports by all companies.

Sections 197.425 and 197.430, RSMo, currently allow the Department to make additional inspections of the company and to make reports of the inspection. New language allows the Department to also investigate complaints and provide written statements of the results.

Section 197.435, RSMo, currently allows the registration of complaints against companies in writing. New language allows oral complaints as well. The Department must investigate all complaints and prepare written statements of its findings. A list of deficiencies should be provided to the company within fifteen days. The company may file a plan of correction or appeal the findings.

Section 197.440, RSMo, currently deals with suspension and revocation of licenses. New language provides for prompt and increased sanctions for repeated incidences. A company may not reapply for licensure for six months following sanctions. Licenses will not be awarded to persons convicted of offenses related to home care. The Department may waive these restrictions for good cause. Section 197.445, RSMo, gives the Department rulemaking authority and requires rules for the three categories of home care services.

Section 197.450, RSMo, creates the Home Care Advisory Council to consist of ten members. The Council shall meet twice a year. Section 197.460, RSMo, exempts certain home care companies from this act.

Sections 197.470 and 197.477 provide for public examination of inspection report, if client confidentiality is maintained. No access to reports will be allowed until an investigation is completed.

This act is substantially similar to HB 1689 (2000).

The provisions of this act are contained in SCS/SBs 959 & 598 and SS/HB 1615.