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This entry was published on 2021-04-23
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Medical respite program
Public Health (PBH) CHAPTER 45, ARTICLE 29-J
§ 2999-hh. Medical respite program. 1. Definitions. As used in this
article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless
the context clearly otherwise requires:

(a) "Medical respite program" means a not-for-profit corporation
certified pursuant to subdivision two of this section to serve
recipients whose prognosis or diagnosis necessitates the receipt of:

(i) Temporary room and board; and

(ii) The provision or arrangement of the provision of health care and
support services; provided, however, that the operation of a medical
respite program shall be separate and distinct from any housing programs
offered to individuals who do not qualify as recipients.

(b) "Recipient" means an individual who:

(i) Has a qualifying health condition that requires treatment or care;

(ii) Does not require hospital inpatient, observation unit, or
emergency room level of care, or a medically indicated emergency
department or observation visit; and

(iii) Is experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of
homelessness. A person shall be deemed "homeless" if they lack a fixed,
regular and adequate nighttime residence in a location ordinarily used
as a regular sleeping accommodation for people; provided, however, that
an operator of a medical respite program shall be permitted to
specialize by providing services to a subpopulation of homeless
recipients if necessary to respond to community need or ensure the
availability of a funding source that will support the medical respite
program's operations, and such limitations are otherwise consistent with
any rules or regulations made pursuant to this section.

2. Certification. (a) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of
law, the commissioner may certify a not-for-profit corporation as an
operator of a medical respite program.

(b) The commissioner may make regulations to establish procedures to
review and approve applications for a certification pursuant to this
article, which shall, at a minimum, specify standards for: recipient
eligibility; medical respite program services that shall be provided;
physical environment; staffing; and policies and procedures governing
health and safety, length of stay, referrals, discharge, and
coordination of care.

3. Operating standards; responsibility for standards. (a) Medical
respite programs certified pursuant to this article shall:

(i) Provide recipients with temporary room and board; and

(ii) Provide, or arrange for the provision of, health care and support
services to recipients.

(b) Nothing in this article shall affect the application,
qualification, or requirements that may apply to an operator with
respect to any other licenses or operating certificates that such
operator may hold, including, without limitation, under article
twenty-eight of this chapter or article seven of the social services

4. Temporary accommodation. A medical respite program shall be
considered a form of emergency shelter or temporary shelter for purposes
of determining a recipient's eligibility for housing programs or
benefits administered by the state or by a local social services
district, including programs or benefits that support access to
accommodations of a temporary, transitional, or permanent nature. No
claim of recovery shall accrue against a recipient to recover the cost
of care and services provided under this article. Care and services
provided under this article shall not be deemed public benefits that
would affect a recipient's immigration status under federal law.

5. Inspections and compliance. The commissioner shall have the
authority to inquire into the operation of any certified medical respite
program and to conduct periodic inspections of facilities with respect
to the fitness and adequacy of the premises, equipment, personnel, rules
and by-laws, standards of medical care and services, system of accounts,
records, and the adequacy of financial resources and sources of future

6. Suspension or revocation of certification. (a) A certification for
a medical respite program may be revoked, suspended, limited, annulled
or denied by the commissioner, in consultation with either the
commissioners of the office of mental health, the office of temporary
and disability assistance, or the office of addiction services and
supports, as appropriate based on a determination of the department
depending on the diagnosis or stated needs of the individuals being
served or proposed to be served in the medical respite program, if an
operator is determined to have failed to comply with this article or the
rules and regulations made pursuant to this section. No action taken
against an operator under this subdivision shall affect an operator's
other licenses or certifications; provided however, that the facts that
gave rise to the revocation, suspension, limitation, annulment or denial
of certification may also form the basis of a limitation, suspension of
revocation of such other licenses or certifications.

(b) No medical respite program certification shall be revoked,
suspended, limited, annulled or denied without a hearing; provided that
a certification may be temporarily suspended or limited without a
hearing for a period not in excess of thirty days upon written notice
that the continuation of the medical respite program places the health
or safety of the recipients in imminent danger, and that the action is
in the interest of the recipients. However, the department shall not
make a determination until the program has had a reasonable opportunity,
following the initial determination that the program places the health
or safety of the recipients in imminent danger, to correct its
deficiencies and following this period, which shall be up to thirty
calendar days, has been given written notice and opportunity for

(c) Nothing in this section shall prevent the commissioner from
imposing sanctions or penalties on a medical respite program that are
authorized under any other law or regulation.

7. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations to implement this