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New Jersey law on home care facilities could affect elderly

Since 2004, New Jersey home care service agencies that did not provide medical care have been governed by state laws and regulations. However, legislation passed in 2014 broadened the requirements of these facilities, stating they need to be accredited and could be audited by certified public accountants. These requirements may increase how much people must pay for home care for the elderly.

Back in August, however, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs proposed additional regulations that would put this law into action. There are concerns, however, that doing so will have a negative financial impact on these facilities that do not provide medical care. Moreover, according to some, legislation such as this does not do anything to help the elderly. Some believe the legislation is too vague, and there has not been any proof as to how the proposed goal of the legislation of ensuring these facilities are safe and effective would be met.

In New Jersey, non-medical care providers are protected by law. Under the law, if a state agency proposes a new rule, the proposal must accomplish its objectives while still minimizing any adverse effects it would have on the small businesses involved. It is claimed that the newly proposed rule requiring accreditation and allowing for audits does not meet the standards of that law. Moreover, some claim that this legislation would force the elderly or those with disabilities to spend down their assets faster, so they can qualify for Medicaid.

This legislation serves as an example of how complicated the laws regarding elder care facilities can be. Affording such care, whether it is medical or not, can be difficult for New Jersey residents. Therefore, any law affecting the availability of care facilities or the expenses associated with them could harm those who need them. Those who have questions about these laws are encouraged to discuss the matter with an elder law attorney, as this post does not offer legal advice.

Source: NJBIZ, "Elder care about to get a lot more expensive," Lori Grifa, Oct. 17, 2017

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