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    Maryland Register
    Issue Date:  November 14, 2016
    Volume 43 • Issue 23 • Pages 1286—1287
    Title 10
    10.09.84 Community First Choice
    Authority: Health-General Article, §§2-104(b), 15-103, and 15-105, Annotated Code of Maryland
    Notice of Proposed Action
    The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene proposes to amend Regulations .14―.20, .23, and .24 under COMAR 10.09.84 Community First Choice.
    Statement of Purpose
    The purpose of this action is to establish that rates are in accordance with the Department’s fee schedule. Indexing of rates is modified in order to be consistent among home and community-based services programs and to ensure that the amount of the applicable index will be known during the time that the annual budget is developed. The proposed amendments also clarify that home-delivered meals are covered as items that substitute for human assistance. In addition, unnecessary definitions are being deleted.
    Comparison to Federal Standards
    There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.
    Estimate of Economic Impact
    The proposed action has no economic impact.
    Economic Impact on Small Businesses
    The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.
    Impact on Individuals with Disabilities
    The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.
    Opportunity for Public Comment
    Comments may be sent to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to dhmh.regs@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted through December 14, 2016. A public hearing has not been scheduled.
    .14 Covered Services — Personal Assistance.
    A. [Definition. “Unit of service” means a 15-minute increment of service that is] The Program covers personal assistance services that are approved in the plan of service and rendered to a participant by a qualified provider in the participant’s home or a community setting.
    B.―C. (text unchanged)
    .15 Covered Services — Supports Planning.
    [A. Definition. “Unit of service” means a 15-minute increment of service that is approved by the Department and rendered to a participant by a qualified provider.]
    [B.] A.[C.] B. (text unchanged)
    .16 Covered Services — Consumer Training.
    [A. Definition. “Unit of service” means 15 minutes of service rendered by a qualified provider to a participant, not including the time spent by the provider:
    (1) Planning, preparing, or setting up the training; or
    (2) Following up after the training.]
    [B.] A.[C.] B. (text unchanged)
    C. Consumer training does not include time spent by the provider:
    (1) Planning, preparing, or setting up the training; or
    (2) Following up after the training.
    .17 Covered Services — Personal Emergency Response Systems.
    A. [Definition. “Unit of service” means any of the following coverages] The Program covers the following related to a device, system, or piece of equipment [covered] described under §B of this regulation:
    (1)―(2) (text unchanged)
    B. (text unchanged)
    .18 Covered Services — Items or Services that Substitute for Human Assistance.
    A.―D. (text unchanged)
    E. The Program covers home-delivered meals provided during meal periods that personal assistance services are not provided.
    .19 Covered Services — Environmental Assessments.
    A. [Definition. “Unit of service” means the completion of] The Program covers an on-site environmental assessment of a home or residence where the participant lives or will live as a participant.
    B.―E. (text unchanged)
    .20 Covered Services — Nurse Monitoring.
    [A. Definition. “Unit of service” means a 15-minute increment of service that is approved by the Department and rendered to a participant by a qualified provider.]
    [B.] A.[D.] C. (text unchanged)
    .23 Limitations.
    A. (text unchanged)
    B. The Department shall establish a budget for personal assistance services and home-delivered meals that may be included in the participant’s plan of service, based on each participant’s assessed need.
    C.―D. (text unchanged)
    .24 Payment Procedures.
    A.―C. (text unchanged)
    D. Payments.
    (1) (text unchanged)
    (2) A provider shall be paid the lesser of:
    (a) (text unchanged)
    (b) The rate established [under §E of this regulation or] according to the fee schedule published by the Department.
    E. Rates.
    [(1) The rate of payment to personal assistance provider agencies shall be $16.48 per hour; and
    (2) Payment to personal assistance agencies for services provided by a personal assistance worker to each of two participants in the same residence shall be $10.99 per hour.]
    (1) The Department shall publish a fee schedule for services covered under this chapter which shall be publicly available and updated at least annually or upon any changes made by the Department.
    (2) The Program’s rates for covered services under Regulations .14―.16, .18E, .19, and .20 of this chapter shall increase on July 1 of each year, subject to the limitations of the State budget, by the lesser of:
    [F. The rates in §E of this regulation shall increase on July 1 of each year, subject to the limitations of the State budget, by the lesser of:]
    (a) (text unchanged)
    (b) The percentage of the annual increase in the [March] previous July Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, [all items] medical care component, Washington-Baltimore, from U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene