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With the start of the new fiscal year, many new laws took effect in Connecticut.  Several of the new laws that took effect July 1st concern the elderly. 

 

One is about Methadone treatment in nursing homes.  Previously, nursing home patients receiving methadone treatment for opioid addiction generally had to receive that treatment at a separate substance abuse treatment facility rather than in the nursing home.  A new law allows these substance abuse treatment facilities to provide this care directly at nursing homes, subject to the Department of Public Health commissioner's approval.  The Commissioner may grant the request if he determines that it would not endanger the health, safety or welfare of any patient.

 

One is about notice to nursing home residents.  A new law adds an informational letter on patients' rights and available services to the written notice that long-term care facilities must provide to patients and other parties when planning to terminate a service or substantially decrease bed capacity.  The informational letter must be one jointly issued by the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the Department of Aging.

 

A new law extends to nursing homes existing requirements for hospitals regarding the designation of patient caregivers at the time of a patient's discharge.  Among other things , the nursing home, when discharging a resident to his or her home, must allow the resident or their representative to designate a caregiver at or before receiving the discharge.  The nursing home must also attempt to notify the designated caregiver of the discharge, and instruct the caregiver on post-discharge tasks they will assist the resident with at home.  This law takes effect October 1st.

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