Senate Bill No. 491

(By Senator Oliverio)


[Introduced February 19, 1996; referred to the Committee Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated article ten-j, relating to creation of the personal assistance act; short title; legislative policy; establishment of program; designating the state board of education as agency responsible for program; demonstration projects; rules; and reports.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated article ten-j, to read as follows:

§18-10J-1. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Personal Assistance Services Act."
§18-10J-2. Declaration of policy.
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state that:
(a) The increased availability of personal assistance services for adults will enable them to live in their own homes and communities;
(b) Priority recipients of personal assistance will be those with severe disabilities, including mental and/or physical impairments, and who are in danger of being moved from the living arrangement of their choice to a restrictive setting;
(c) Recipients of personal assistance have the right to make decisions about, direct the provision of and control their personal assistant services. This includes, but is not limited to, hiring, training, managing, paying and firing of an attendant;
(d) Any program receiving the allotted funds must have within its framework the following five basic principles:
(1) Services are available where they are needed, either at home or in the community;
(2) Services are available when they are needed, twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week, as scheduled or needed in an emergency basis;
(3) People contribute to the cost of services based on their ability to pay;
(4) Consumers choose how, when and by whom services are provided; and
(5) Eligibility is based on functional needs rather than on a medical diagnosis.
(e) Subject to available funds, other personal assistance projects will be developed to increase the availability of services throughout the state to serve eligible individuals.
§18-10J-3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Personal assistance services" means:
(1) Those basic and ancillary services which enable eligible individuals to live in their homes and communities rather than in institutions and to carry out functions of daily living, self-care, and mobility;
(2) Basic services shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) Getting in and out of a bed, wheelchair and/or motor vehicle;
(B) Assistance with routine bodily functions, including, but not limited to:
(i) Health maintenance activities;
(ii) Bathing and personal hygiene;
(iii) Dressing and grooming; and
(iv) Feeding, including preparation and cleanup.
(b) "Designated agency" means that the personal assistance services program will be administered and overseen by a centrally located independent living center within West Virginia. The state board of education is hereby determined to be the designated agency and shall be advised by a consumer board, composed of individuals receiving personal assistance services and others with disabilities.
(c) "Eligible individual" means any physically or mentally disabled person eighteen years of age or older who meets all of the following requirements: "Eligible individual" may also be referred to hereafter as a "consumer" who:
(1) Experiences any physical and/or mental impairment which can be expected to recur or last for a period of not less than twelve months as determined by the evaluation conducted by both medical examination and functional assessment. The designated agency has the responsibility of determining eligibility based on the findings of these assessments;
(2) Is capable of selecting, supervising and, if needed, firing an attendant. If needed, support shall be provided by the designated agency;
(3) Is capable of managing his own financial and legal affairs with or without the support of a designated agency;
(4) Because of physical or mental impairment, requires assistance to complete functions of daily living, self-care and mobility, including, but not limited to, those functions included in the definition of personal assistance services.
(d) "Personal assistant" means an individual of the consumer's choice who provides attendant care services for the eligible individual.
§18-10J-4. Program.
(a) Establishment. -- The designated agency shall establish and develop under this article programs of personal assistance services for eligible individuals.
(b) Solicitation of proposals. -- The designated agency shall solicit proposals to provide personal assistance services under this article. Providers shall submit proposals in the form and manner required by the designated agency.
(c) Proposal selection criteria. -- Proposals shall be selected based on service priorities developed by the designated agency; however, priority shall be given to proposals that will serve the severely disabled and those at greatest risk of being institutionalized as defined by the designated agency.
(d) Agreements with providers. -- In order to provide personal assistance services, the designated agency may enter into agreements with providers. Each agreement shall include, at minimum, the number of consumers to be served, the types of personal assistance services to be provided, the cost of services, the method of payment, and the criteria to be used for evaluating the provision of services.
(e) Participation of eligible individuals. -- Providers, where appropriate, shall include consumers in the planning, startup, delivery and administration of personal assistance services and training to the maximum extent.
(f) Consumer assessment reports. -- Determination of eligibility and the need for personal assistance services shall be supported by consumer assessment reports which will be developed by the designated agency.
(g) Weekly hours of service. -- Each personal attendant will work approximately twenty hours a week, or as needed, not to exceed forty hours.
(h) Waiting list. -- The designated agency and providers shall develop a waiting list, by service priority, for those eligible individuals who cannot be served immediately.
(i) Individuals currently found on the waiting list of the elderly and disabled and MR/DD Waiver will be given preference to be included in the services provided by this or any other demonstration project.
§18-10J-5. Fundings.
(a) Use of funds. -- Funds made available under this article shall be used only for the planning, designing, delivering and administering of personal assistance services and training of personal attendants.
(b) Program moneys. -- Programs for personal assistance services, under this article, shall use program funds from a number of sources, including state and federal funds, program fees and other allotted moneys. The designated agency shall apply for and use all available funding sources to carry out a program of personal assistance services under this article.
(c) Program fee schedule. -- The designated agency shall develop, wherever practical, a sliding fee schedule for personal attendant services for eligible consumers.
(d) Disbursement of funds. -- Funds shall be disbursed in a manner which ensures a maximum consumer control with the service of the program.
(e) Availability of services. -- Personal assistance services shall be available only to the extent that they are funded through annual appropriations of state and federal funds, program fees, and other allotted moneys.
§18-10J-6. Demonstration projects.
The designated agency may initiate further demonstration projects as funding becomes available. Funding may be derived from a variety of sources, which may include, but not be limited to, state and federal appropriations, program fees, and other allotted moneys. These funds may be used to test new ways of providing personal assistance services, as well as conduct specific research into ways to best provide personal assistance services within the state of West Virginia.
§18-10J-7. Rules.
The designated agency, as directed by consumers, shall promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the effective administration of any programs of personal assistance services under this article.
§18-10J-8. Report.
The designated agency will appoint a consumer board to oversee the project on an ongoing basis. One year after the initiation of the demonstration project, the consumer board will report to those legislative committees having jurisdiction over appropriations and over human resource services. This report shall include at least the following information regarding personal assistance services:
(a) A summary of the personal assistance services provided under this article, including, but not limited to, a description of service model(s) utilized, cost by service model(s), unit of service per consumer and consumer demographics.
(b) Recommendations regarding the direction of funding for the demonstration project(s) for upcoming fiscal years.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the "Personal Assistance Services Act" to be administered by the State Board of Education to provide those basic and ancillary services which enable eligible individuals with severe disabilities, including mental and physical impairments to live in their homes and communities rather than in institutions and to carry out functions of daily living, self-care, and mobility.

Article 10J is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.