Senate Bill No. 436
(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Sprouse
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced February 9, 2000; referred to the Committee on
Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
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 establishment of the older West Virginians act; declaring
purpose and objectives; defining terms; establishing role of
bureau of senior services; establishing area agencies;
establishing requirements of service providers; requiring
support services, nutrition services and other services and
programs; and establishing special activities.
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
ARTICLE 5R. OLDER WEST VIRGINIANS.
§16-5R-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Older West Virginians Act of
§16-5R-2. Purpose and objectives.
(a) The purpose of this article is to provide guidance and
assistance in the development of new or improved activities and
programs to help older West Virginians maintain independence, honor
(b) This article establishes a comprehensive integrated array
of services which are client-driven, locally based and quality
oriented at a reasonable cost for senior citizens. The services
packages developed to accomplish this mission will be prioritized
first to in-home, community based, long-term care clients to enable
them to maintain independence for as long as possible in local
settings. Second level priority services will be those which are
preventive and supportive in nature.
(c) Management practice will integrate programs with service
providers to enhance client placement, service options and quality
(d) Programs will recognize the strengths of the older
population, especially in the areas of volunteering and senior
leadership, to improve the social conditions of all older individuals in West Virginia.
For the purpose of this article:
(a) "Aging network" means the network of the bureau of senior
services, area agencies on aging, and local providers of direct
services to older individuals;
(b) "Bureau" refers to the bureau of senior services;
(c) "Commissioner" refers to the commissioner of the bureau of
(d) "Focal point" means a facility established to encourage
the maximum collocation and coordination of services for older
(e) "Older individual" or "older West Virginian" or "senior"
or "senior citizen" mean an individual who is sixty years of age or
(f) "State agency" refers to the bureau of senior services.
§16-5R-4. Powers and duties of the commissioner.
For purposes of this article, the commissioner shall have the
powers and duties set forth in section six, article five-p, chapter
sixteen of this code. In addition, the commissioner shall ensure
the bureau fulfills the requirements of section twelve, article
five-p, chapter sixteen of the code, relating to federal government
§16-5R-5. Powers and duties of the bureau of senior services.
The bureau will be the designated state agency to:
(a) Develop a state plan as required by the federal
administration on aging;
(b) Administer the state plan within West Virginia;
(c) Be the primary agency responsible for the planning, policy
development; administration, coordination, priority setting and
evaluation of activities related to this article;
(d) Serve as an effective and visible advocate for older West
(e) Divide West Virginia into distinct planning and service
areas and designate for each area a public or private nonprofit
agency or organization as the area agency on aging;
(f) Provide appropriate technical assistance, timely
information and monitoring to area agencies on aging and local
service providers as appropriate;
(g) Maintain client and service data using a client tracking
system through which all providers will report necessary
(h) Maintain letters of agreement with the state department of
health and human resources to ensure continuation of the valuable
personal care and aged and disabled waiver programs.
§16-5R-6. Area agencies on aging.
The area agencies on aging designated by the bureau shall be charged with the following:
(a) Prepare and develop an area plan in accordance with
instructions provided by the bureau;
(b) Provide, through a comprehensive and coordinated system,
supportive services, nutrition services and the
development/maintenance of senior centers for older West Virginians
in that area;
(c) Enter into agreements and contracts with local service
providers for the provision of supportive services and nutrition
(d) Designate, where feasible, a focal point for comprehensive
service delivery in each community;
(e) Establish an advisory council in accordance with the
requirements of this article;
(f) Serve as an effective and visible advocate for older West
(g) Provide appropriate technical assistance, timely
information and monitoring to local service providers.
§16-5R-7. Local service providers.
(a) The Legislature recognizes the importance of local service
providers in the determination of need and the provision of
services to West Virginia's elderly population. These providers
play an important role in assuring that services are client-driven,
locally based and quality oriented. The responsibilities of the service providers vary according to the programs they offer.
(b) Service providers who offer Older West Virginians Act and
related services shall:
(1) Determine the needs of seniors in the particular area
covered, by gaining input from the seniors themselves, their
families and care givers;
(2) Develop a plan of service based on the needs of the
(3) Provide supportive services, nutrition services and senior
centers which will, as much as possible, meet the needs of the
(4) Serve as an effective and visible advocate for older West
(5) Participate in the bureau's client tracking system.
(c) Service providers who offer medicaid related services
(1) Comply with appropriate medicaid regulations and policies;
(2) Comply with provider agreements, program manuals and
(3) Provide progress reports as considered necessary;
(4) Maintain provider files, information and reports necessary
for the determination of compliance with established program
(5) Participate in the bureau's client tracking system.
§16-5R-8. Core management.
In support of the county-based service delivery system,
this article recognizes CORE management as the management forum for
procedures governing the aging network in West Virginia. CORE
shall be composed of representatives from the bureau, area agencies
on aging, the bureau of medical services, service providers under
this article, and Title XIX service providers. Standing
committees, representing the various programs and functions of the
aging network, shall be appointed by the commissioner to discuss
issues and make reports to the full body of CORE. The members of
CORE management will consider and debate the committee reports and
make recommendations to the bureau.
§16-5R-9. Supportive services.
Supportive services that may take place in the seniors' homes
or in senior centers or other focal points may include, but not
limited to: Adult day care, assessment, assisted transportation,
care training, case management, chore, counseling, discount, home
repair, homemaker, housing assistance, information and assistance,
instruction/training, legal assistance, letter/writing, reading,
material aid, nutrition education, outreach, telephoning,
transportation and visiting.
§16-5R-10. Nutrition services.
Congregate meals must contain one third of the recommended
daily allowance for vitamins and minerals and are to be provided in a group setting. Congregate meal sites may include senior centers,
community buildings, schools, churches and elderly housing
complexes. Home delivered meals must also contain one third of the
recommended daily allowance for vitamins and minerals and are to be
delivered to eligible individuals, who are unable to shop and
prepare food on their own.
§16-5R-11. Other services.
The bureau shall also coordinate and provide to older West
(a) In-home services for those who are frail or at risk of
becoming institutionalized; and
(b) Disease prevention and health services.
§16-5R-12. Programs and special activities for older West
(a) The bureau shall continue and maintain its long-term care
ombudsman program codified in article five-l, chapter sixteen of
this code. The bureau shall also design and implement programs for
the benefit of older West Virginians relating to: Prevention of
elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, state elder rights and legal
assistance, in-home personal care for medicaid eligible senior
citizens, in-home personal care for nonmedicaid eligible senior
citizens, legislative initiatives for the elderly (LIFE), senior
health insurance network through the United States health care
financing administration and a foster grandparent program.
(b) The bureau shall sponsor the following special activities
for older West Virginians: Governor's golden mountaineer program
(discount program for goods and services at participating
merchants), senior citizens conference (educational and
entertainment opportunities), governor's summit on aging, silver
haired legislature and senior day at the Legislature. The bureau
may sponsor additional special activities as necessary.
NOTE: This bill establishes the Older West Virginians Act.
The purpose of the bill is to provide guidance and assistance to
the development of improved services and programs to older West
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.