Section 91

Section 91 Nursing Home Financial Stability Task Force

(a) There shall be a task force to: (i) evaluate ways to ensure the financial stability of skilled nursing facilities; (ii) consider the role of skilled nursing facilities within the continuum of elder care services; and (iii) address current workforce challenges.

The task force shall consist of the following members: the secretary of health and human services, or their designee, who shall serve as chair; the chairs of the joint committee on elder affairs, or their designees; the secretary of elder affairs, or their designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development, or their designee; the commissioner of public health, or their designee; the assistant secretary for MassHealth, or their designee; 1 person to be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 1 person to be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; and 6 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Inc., 1 of whom shall be a representative of LeadingAge Massachusetts, Inc., 1 of whom shall be a representative of 1199SEIU, 1 of whom shall be a representative of Massachusetts Association of Residential Care Homes, Inc., 1 of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Inc. and 1 of whom shall be an expert on long-term care and aging policy. In making appointments, the governor shall, to the maximum extent feasible, ensure that the task force represents a broad distribution of diverse perspectives and geographic regions.

(b) In making its recommendations, the task force shall consider: (i) improvements to the MassHealth reimbursement system for skilled nursing facilities to promote financial stability; (ii) industry-wide workforce initiatives including, but not limited to, ways to improve recruitment, training, including transitional training opportunities for employment in rest homes, assisted living and other alternative senior housing options, retention, rates of pay and other methods of ensuring a sustainable workforce; (iii) the role of external economic factors on the development and retention of the elder care services workforce such as the increases in the minimum wage and competition from other industries; (iv) the feasibility of establishing a voluntary reconfiguration program for certain areas of elder care services, including the impact of a reduction in the number of currently licensed beds, while ensuring quality and maintaining access; (v) recommended criteria for a voluntary reconfiguration program including, but not limited to, occupancy, co-location of services, care standards and regional geographic need; (vi) recommended incentives for elder care service operators to align the need for elder care services with current and future demand and conversion of underutilized beds or other resources to meet current and future demand; and (vii) any additional reforms to strengthen the public process for facility closures and sales or other recommendations necessary to address the issues referenced in this section.

(c) The task force shall convene its first meeting within 30 days after the effective date of this act. The task force shall submit its report, including any proposed legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations, by filing the same with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on health care financing, the joint committee on elder affairs and the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than February 1, 2020.