ASSEMBLY, No. 4387

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 14, 2007

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblyman JACK CONNERS

District 7 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Excludes veteransí benefits from calculation of financial obligation for care at psychiatric facility.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning payments for patients in psychiatric facilities and amending R.S.30:4-60.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.† R.S.30:4-60 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 30:4-60.† a. If the court shall determine that the person has a mental illness and is in need of treatment at a psychiatric facility, it may determine the legal settlement of the person and, consistent with the laws governing civil commitment and the Rules of Court, direct the admission or hospitalization of† the person to the care of the Commissioner of Human Services for treatment in a psychiatric facility, short-term care facility or special psychiatric hospital in this State.

†††† b.††† If the Department of Human Services determines that the person has a developmental disability and is eligible for functional services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the department, using a formula of financial ability to pay as promulgated annually by the Department of the Treasury, shall determine if the person with a developmental disability has sufficient income, assets, resources or estate to pay for his maintenance as fixed by the State Board of Human Services, or is able to make any payment towards his maintenance, or if the person's chargeable relatives or other persons chargeable by contract are able to pay the person's maintenance or make any payment† toward the person's maintenance on the person's behalf. The department shall determine the legal settlement of the developmentally disabled person pursuant to section 86 of P.L.1965, c.59 (C.30:4-165.3).

†††† The department shall send written notice of the periodic payment amount to the person or his parent or guardian, chargeable relative or other person chargeable by contract for the person's support. All required payments shall be made directly to the department unless otherwise specified in the notice. The notice may, in the discretion of the department, contain such direction as may seem proper concerning security to be given for the payment.† The payment notice shall be separate and independent of any order of commitment to the care and custody of the commissioner or any order of guardianship.

†††† The department shall annually review and revise, as appropriate, its payment calculations.† If the financial circumstances of the person or persons chargeable by law or contract for the support of the developmentally disabled person change prior to the annual review, the chargeable person or persons shall immediately notify the department in writing.

†††† c.† (1)† A person with mental illness who is 18 years of age or older and is being treated in a psychiatric facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:40-27.2) shall be liable for the full cost of his treatment, maintenance and all necessary and related expenses of the person's hospitalization until he is determined to be ineligible for or has exhausted any third party insurance benefits or medical assistance program that will pay an amount toward the facility's bill.† The obligation by the person with mental illness for the remainder of the facility's bill, after the credit for all available third party insurance payments or medical assistance program payment, will be in an amount based upon the sliding scale fee schedule established for charity care pursuant to subsection b. of section 10 of† P.L.1992, c.160 (C.26:2H-18.60).† In calculating the obligation pursuant to this subsection, the personís income shall not include veteransí benefits the person receives.

†††† (2)†† The obligation of the parent of a person with mental illness under the age of 18 for the remainder of the facility's bill shall be based upon the lesser of the sliding scale fee schedule established for charity care pursuant to subsection b. of section 10 of† P.L.1992, c.160 (C.26:2H-18.60), or the formula of financial ability to pay as promulgated annually by the Department of the Treasury pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

†††† (3)†† A person with mental illness or a person responsible under a court order for the cost of care and maintenance of a person with mental illness who, without good cause, (a) refuses to submit information and authorizations sufficient to enable the facility to access any available third-party payer, or (b) refuses to apply for public medical assistance for which the person with mental illness may be eligible, shall be responsible for the full cost of the person's care and maintenance at the facility without the application of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.

†††† (4)†† Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection,† the Department of Human Services or county adjuster in the county of settlement, as applicable, shall make a determination of the amount the person with mental illness who is 18 years of age or older, or the parent of a person with mental illness under the age of 18, shall be liable to contribute toward the cost of the person's treatment, maintenance and all necessary and related expenses of the person's hospitalization. The liability may be enforced by the Commissioner of Human Services in the manner set forth in section 1 of P.L.1962, c.207 (C.30:4-75.1).

†††† (5)†† In the case of a person with mental illness who is married, the† department shall establish a spousal share of the combined assets of the couple that shall be preserved for the noninstitutionalized spouse and immune from execution to satisfy the person's liability to contribute toward the cost of treatment, maintenance and all necessary and related expenses of the person's hospitalization.† In order to determine the spousal share of the combined assets to be preserved, the Commissioner of Human Services shall employ the same methodology used by the State Medicaid program to determine the resources that are preserved for the needs of the community spouse of an institutionalized individual in accordance with N.J.A.C.10:71-4.8.

†††† (6)†† The Commissioner of Human Services shall act on any request by a person with mental illness who is 18 years of age or older, or the parent of a person with mental illness under the age of 18, to compromise for settlement of the obligation established pursuant to this section.† With respect to the request, the commissioner shall allow the person or parent to retain adequate funds to:

†††† (a)†† maintain the person's or parent's housing and usual standard of living in the community;

†††† (b)†† provide for any necessary medical expenses or special needs;

†††† (c)†† support any minor, disabled, elderly or other dependent;

†††† (d)†† establish a trust to ensure future self-sufficiency; or

†††† (e)†† provide for any other genuine financial needs.

†††† Requests to compromise for settlement of the obligation shall be liberally granted by the commissioner and shall promote the person's or his parent's opportunity to obtain and maintain employment, purchase property, both real and personal, and achieve full reintegration into the community, as applicable. The commissioner shall ensure that all persons and parents are notified of their right to request a compromise and the procedure for doing so.

(cf:† P.L.2005, c.55, s.4)

 

†††† 2. †This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill amends R.S.30:4-60 to exclude veteransí benefits from income for the purpose of calculating the financial obligation for care in a psychiatric facility, which is defined as a State psychiatric hospital listed in R.S.30:1-7, county psychiatric hospital, or psychiatric unit of a county hospital.

†††† Currently, subsection c. of R.S.30:4-60, which was added by P.L.2005, c.55, provides that the financial obligation of an adult with mental illness, after taking a credit for all available third party insurance or medical assistance program payments, is based on the sliding scale fee schedule established for charity care under section 10 of P.L.1992, c.160 (C.26:2H-18.60).

†††† Under the bill, veteransí benefits the person receives would be excluded from income when calculating the adultís obligation for psychiatric care using the sliding scale fee for charity care.