The Indiana General Assembly concluded its 2016 legislative session on March 10, 2016, after a very fast-paced 10 weeks of activity.  A little over 200 bills were passed, and several will benefit older adults and persons with disabilities. Below are highlights of legislation of interest to the Area Agencies on Aging and to those that they serve.  More details are available here.

SEA 11. ABLE savings accounts.

Creates the “achieving a better life experience” (ABLE) state authority which allows for 529-type savings accounts for meeting the needs of persons with disabilities.

SEA 192. Adult protective services report and guardianship study.

Requires a study and report on the APS system to provide information on which to make biennial budget decisions.  Also urges an interim study of visitation, communication and interaction with a protected person under a guardianship.

SEA 221. Securities and financial protection.

Defines “financially endangered adult”, allows broker-dealers to delay processing of suspicious transactions related to financially endangered adults and enhances the ability of broker-dealers to cooperate in the investigation of suspicious transactions.

SEA 272. Palliative care and quality of life advisory council.

Establishes the palliative care and quality of life advisory council, sets forth member requirements and specifies its purpose and duties.

SEA 350. Criminal history background checks for home health workers.

Requires a home health agency or personal services agency to obtain a national criminal history background check on employees.

HEA 1012. Developmental disability bracelet and identification card.

Requires the state department of health, upon request, to issue a bracelet, an identification card, or both indicating that an individual has been medically diagnosed with a developmental disability.

HEA 1263. Telemedicine.

Sets forth requirements that health care provider with prescriptive authority must meet to issue prescriptions via telemedicine. Provides that certain drugs and devices may not be prescribed through the use of telemedicine.

HEA 1347. Mental health matters.

Expands the types of mental health clinicians that may be reimbursed under the Medicaid program. Requires the department of insurance to study and report on the capacity, training, and barriers to health navigators in assisting individuals in obtaining health insurance program coverage.