Two-Bill Package to Bolster Home Health Care Services Released From Health Committee

Trenton – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee released legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Vitale and Senator Troy Singleton that would help ease the regulatory and financial burdens on eligible residents who prefer to receive health care services and treatment in their own homes or community, as opposed to a hospital, or institutional setting.

The first bill, S-3495, would provide presumptive eligibility for home and community based services under Medicaid, including those individuals awaiting an eligibility determination for Medicaid and any applicable Medicaid waiver program offering home and community-based services.

“The ways we provide and deliver health care are constantly changing, and allowing individuals, especially our most vulnerable neighbors and friends, to receive the care, treatment and supports they need at home and in the community is vital,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “This legislation will ensure these individuals retain full access to treatment and services, regardless where those services are provided.”

The second bill, S-3626, establishes the “Hospital at Home Act,” which would require the Department of Health (DOH) to establish a program permitting a hospital to provide acute care services to an individual outside of the hospital’s licensed facility and within a private residence designated by the covered person.

“Hospital at Home care programs are becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, and it makes sense because they provide a practical, cost-effective and in some ways safer care option, especially for elderly and other at-risk populations,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This legislation represents New Jersey getting ahead of a trend that’s sure to continue in coming years.”

The bill would serve to codify a pilot program that originated under the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals already approved and participating in the federal program would be integrated into the State program.

The bills, S-3495 and S-3626, were released from committee by votes of 8-0, and 8-0.