H. B. 4460
(By Delegates Marshall, Houston,
Fleischauer and Warner)
[Introduced February 9, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then Government
A BILL to amend chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article five-r, relating to
the "Alzheimer's special care standards act"; legislative
findings and declarations; defining terms; requiring written
disclosure of care or treatment of alzheimer residents;
authorizing the secretary of health and human resources to
propose legislative rules designed to set minimum standards of
care and treatment of alzheimer patients; and authorizing the
secretary to enforce the standards, investigate facilities and
issue warnings and other penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding
thereto a new article, designated article five-r, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.
ARTICLE 5R. THE ALZHEIMER'S SPECIAL CARE STANDARDS ACT.
§16-5R-1. Name of act.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Alzheimer's
Special Care Standards Act."
§16-5R-2. Findings and declarations.
The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) Certain nursing homes and related facilities, adult
congregate living facilities, adult day care centers, hospices and
adult foster homes claim to provide special care units and services
for persons who have alzheimer's disease;
(b) It is in the public interest to provide for the
protection of consumers by ensuring the accuracy and authenticity
of such claims; and
(c) The provisions of this article are intended to require
the facilities to actually provide the care they claim to offer,
require written disclosure of special services provided, require
the appropriate state licensing agency to examine the performance
of such facilities in providing special services for persons who
have alzheimer's disease, and provide penalties for failure to
provide the services claimed as the agency considers appropriate.
§16-5R-3. Definition of alzheimer's special care unit/program.
For the purposes of this article, the following definitions
(a) "Alzheimer's disease" means a diagnosis of pre-senile
dementia or senile dementia-Alzheimer type (SDAT), characterized by
confusion, memory failure, disorientation, restlessness, agnosia,
speech disturbances, inability to carry out purposeful movements
(b) "Alzheimer's Special Care Unit or Program," means any
facility that secures, segregates or provides a special program or
special unit for residents with a diagnosis of probable alzheimer's
disease or a related disorder and that advertises, markets or
otherwise promotes the facility as providing specialized
alzheimer's or dementia care services.
(c) "Department" means the department of health and human
(d) "Facility" means any nursing home or facility,
residential board and care home, personal care home, assisted
living facility, adult congregate living facility, home health
agency, adult day care center, hospice or adult foster home situate
or operating in this state.
(e) "Resident" means an individual living in a facility that
offers an alzheimer's special care unit or program.
(f) "Secretary" means the secretary of the department of
health and human resources.
§16-5R-4. Alzheimer's special care disclosure required.
(a) Any facility which offers to provide or provides care for
a person with alzheimer's disease through an alzheimer's special
care unit or special care program shall disclose in writing the
form of care or treatment that distinguishes the unit or program as
being especially applicable to or suitable for such persons. The
disclosure shall be provided to the department of health and human
resources, to any person seeking placement within an alzheimer's
special care unit or program, and to any legal guardian or relative
acting on behalf of a resident or person seeking placement.
(b) The department of health and human resources shall
examine all disclosures provided to it as part of the facility's
license renewal procedure and verify the accuracy of the
(c) The disclosure required by this section shall include the
(1) A statement of the overall treatment philosophy and
mission of the special care unit or program which reflects the
needs of residents afflicted with alzheimer's disease or dementia;
(2) A description of the facility's screening, admission and
discharge procedures, assessment, care planning and implementation,
staffing patterns and training ratios unique to the program or
(3) A description of the physical environment and design features and an explanation of how they are appropriate to support
the functioning of cognitively impaired adult residents;
(4) A description of activities available to residents, the
frequency and types of resident activities, and how they are
specialized for residents who suffer from alzheimer's disease;
(5) A statement that describes the involvement of families in
the care of residents and the availability of family support
(6) The costs of care and any additional fees unique to the
alzheimer's special care unit or program.
§16-5R-5. Standards for care; rules.
(a) The secretary shall propose rules for legislative
approval in accordance with the provisions of article three,
chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, setting minimum standards for
the care and treatment of persons with alzheimer's disease and
other dementia in facilities offering alzheimer's special care
units or programs.
(b) The standards established pursuant to this section shall
apply to all facilities offering alzheimer's special care units or
program and shall be in addition to any other statutory
requirements, rules or standards that are applicable to the
(c) The secretary shall enforce the rules and standards for
alzheimer's special care units or programs and shall exercise all powers necessary for such enforcement, including investigation and
reporting of violation of the rules, issuance of notices or
warnings to facilities found in violation of the standards,
assessment of civil penalties in accordance with the applicable
licensing provisions of the facility, and suspension or revocation
(d) If a facility advertising, marketing or otherwise
promoting the facility as providing specialized alzheimer or
dementia care services does not meet the standards established by
the secretary, the department shall instruct the facility to cease
such advertising, marketing or promoting.