A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO ESTABLISH A SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUALS TRANSITIONING FROM INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS TO INTEGRATED COMMUNITY-BASED SETTINGS, TO CLARIFY HOW FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE USED, AND TO CREATE A COMMUNITY LIVING HOUSING FUND WITHIN THE HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY TO INTEGRATE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES INTO COMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORTED HOUSING.
Amends GS 122C-3 by adding a new subdivision, (20c), to define local management entity/managed care organizationor LME/MCOas an LME that has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to operate the 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid Waiver (refers to two sections of the Social Security Act that allow states to apply for waivers from federal Medicaid policy).
Adds new Article 1B, Transitions to Community Living, to GS Chapter 122C. Includes definitions for terms as they apply in this Article. Directs DHHS, in consultation with the NC Housing Finance Agency (HFA), to establish and administer the NC Supportive Housing Program (SHP), a tenant-based rental assistance program.Provides that the purpose of the SHP is to transition individuals who are diagnosed with serious mental illness and serious and persistent mental illness from institutional settings to more integrated community-based settings appropriate to meet their needs.Directs DHHS, in consultation with the HFA and LME/MCOs, to arrange for program participants tobe placed in available housing slots through the program with all of the rights and obligations created by a landlord-tenant relationship.
Provides guidelines for the administration of housingsubsidiesfor supportive housing, and directs the Commission on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services to establish eligibility requirements the Supportive Housing Program. Designates DHHS as having ongoing responsibilities for developing and distributing a list of potentially eligible program participants for each LME/MCO by catchment area. Shifts responsibility for prioritizing this informationupon receipt to each LME/MCO. Directs DHHS to annually determine the number of housing slots to be allocated to each LME/MCO as specified in this act. Directs the LME/MCO to develop a written transition plan that identifies certain needs of the individual and the available housing slots that meet the individual's needs.
Provides guidelines regarding transition services and tenancy support services. Directs DHHS to develop anapplication process for owners of housing units to participate in the program as landlords. Authorizes the Commission on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services to adopt any temporary rules necessary to implement this section.
Requires each LME/MCO to report annually on April 1 to DHHS on the number of individuals within the catchment area who transitioned into housing slots available through SHP during the preceding calendar year. Specifies that the report is to contain a breakdown of all the funds used by the LME/MCO to transition these individuals into the housing slots. Requires DHHS to report annually on July 1 to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the SHP established in this section.
Provides that this section is not to be construed as requiring DHHS to provide an unlimited number of housing slots.
Requires that each LME/MCO transition at minimum 15 eligible individuals to community-based supported housing slots available through SHP no later than July 30, 2013.
Appropriates $3,835,280 from the General Fund to the Transitions to Community Living Housing Budget for fiscal year 2013-14, and $5,876,000 for fiscal year 2014-15. Specifies how the funds are to be used.
Enacts new GS 122E-3A to establish the Transitions to Community Living Housing Budget within the Transitions to Community Living Fund to pay for the transition of individuals with disabilities from institutional settings to integrated, community-basedsupported housing. Provides that any unexpended or unencumbered balance of the appropriated amount does not revert and remains available in the Transitions to Community Living Housing Budget.
Directs the HFA, in consultation with DHHS, to administer the Transitions to Community Living Housing Budget and provides that the funds are only to be made available for spending upon an act of appropriation by the General Assembly for the specified purposes.
Adds new Article 2A, Assistive Technology for Individuals Transitioning into Community Living, to GS Chapter 168. Provides definitions for terms as they apply inthis Article. Directs DHHS to expand the NC Assistive Technology Program to include anassistive technology reutilization program. Declares that the purpose of the assistive technology reutilization program is for DHHS to (1) retrieve assistive technology devices (ATDs) purchased with state funds, including durable medical equipment purchased via the state Medicaid Program, from consumers who no longer use the ATDsand (2) catalogue, refurbish, sanitize, store, and reassign the ATDs for use to individuals with disabilities.
Declares a preference for providing an individual with a disabilitywho is in need of an ATD with a suitably refurbished ATD. Also requires DHHS and LME/MCOs to provide or arrange outreach and training on ATDs for individuals with disabilities and professionals working with these individuals.
Also provides for the assessment of ATD needs, demonstrations of the use of ATDs, and proper disposal of ATDs and durable medical equipment.
Appropriates $200,000 from the General Fund to the Transitions to Community Living Budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year and $150,000 for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Limits the use of these funds to paying forthe costs of assistive technology assessments for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning from institutional settings to integrated settings to identify the best match for the individual considering the environment, task, and ability of the user.
Provides that the appropriationsin this act become effective July 1, 2013. The remainder of the act is effective whenit becomes law.