2017 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE BILL NO. 36
INTRODUCED BY G. PIERSON
BY REQUEST OF THE CHILDREN, FAMILIES, HEALTH, AND HUMAN SERVICES INTERIM COMMITTEE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO BE ALLOCATED TO THE STATE'S AREA AGENCIES ON AGING FOR SERVICES RELATED TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND OTHER DEMENTIAS; REQUIRING A REPORT; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, over the next 10 years the number of Montanans and their families dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer's disease is expected to increase by 42%; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer's disease is the most costly disease in the United States; and
WHEREAS, studies show that about half of the individuals meeting the criteria for Alzheimer's disease and other types of neurocognitive disorders are not diagnosed by a physician; and
WHEREAS, Area Agencies on Aging are the front line and primary source of community-based services for seniors and their families, regardless of income; and
WHEREAS, Area Agencies on Aging provide in-home and community-based services that prevent or delay institutionalization, including providing information about and assistance with accessing public benefits and local community services, meals, housekeeping, transportation, personal care, care planning, respite care, and caregiver training; and
WHEREAS, Area Agencies on Aging have experience serving individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and with assisting their families; and
WHEREAS, overall funding for Area Agencies on Aging has not kept pace with the increasing demand for services resulting from the increase in Montana's aging population and the higher cost of doing business; and
WHEREAS, many Area Agencies on Aging have waiting lists for services and have reduced the frequency or scope of certain services due to budget constraints.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Appropriation --- report. (1) There is appropriated $1.5 million from the general fund to the department of public health and human services for the biennium beginning July 1, 2017, to be allocated to the state's area agencies on aging for use as provided in subsection (2).
(2) The area agencies on aging shall use the appropriation to assist individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias and their family members by:
(a) providing respite care, housekeeping, transportation, meals, and other in-home and community-based services that allow the individuals to stay in their homes and communities and that prevent or delay costly institutionalization;
(b) providing family caregivers with training in caring for relatives with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias and with assistance in connecting with support groups;
(c) providing education and information about resources and providing assistance with accessing available programs and services; and
(d) engaging in targeted outreach efforts and forming collaborative partnerships with local health care providers and other service providers to identify individuals and family members who may be in need of assistance because the individuals have Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
(3) (a) The legislature intends that this appropriation be considered as a part of the ongoing base for the 2021 and 2023 bienniums and that it not be included in the base for the 2025 biennium.
(b) Money from the appropriation that is not spent during the biennium must be returned to the department for reversion to the general fund. The department shall ensure that the area agencies are able to:
(i) track the use of money from this appropriation separately from other funds they receive; and
(ii) identify any unspent funds that must be returned to the department.
(4) The area agencies on aging shall report each interim to the children, families, health, and human services interim committee on the use of the appropriation and the number of individuals and families served.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2017.
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Latest Version of HB 36 (HB0036.01)
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