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New Jersey Statutes, Title: 26, HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS

    Chapter 2H: Declaration of public policy

      Section: 26:2H-5.24: Findings, declarations relative to designated caregivers.

1. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. According to the American Association of Retired Professional's Public Policy Institute, at any given time, an estimated 1.75 million people in New Jersey provide varying degrees of unreimbursed care to adults with limitations in daily activities. The total value of the unpaid care to individuals in need of long-term services and supports amounts to an estimated $13 billion per year.

b. Caregivers are often members of the individual's immediate family, but friends and other community members also serve as caregivers. Although most caregivers are asked to assist an individual with basic activities of daily living, such as mobility, eating, and dressing, many are expected to perform complex tasks on a daily basis, such as administering multiple medications, providing wound care, and operating medical equipment.

c. Despite the vast importance of caregivers in the individual's day-to-day care, and despite the fact that 78 percent of caregivers report managing multiple medications, administering injections, and performing other health maintenance tasks, research has shown that many caregivers feel that they do not have the necessary skill set to perform the caregiving tasks they are asked to perform when a loved one is discharged from the hospital.

d. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that $17 billion in Medicare funds is spent each year on unnecessary hospital readmissions. Additionally, hospitals desire to avoid the imposition of new readmission penalties under the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,"Pub.L.111-148, as amended by the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010," Pub.L.111-152 (ACA).

e. In order to successfully address the challenges of a surging population of older adults and others who have significant needs for long-term services and supports, the State must develop methods to enable caregivers to continue to support their loved ones at home and in the community, and avoid costly hospital readmissions.

f. The New Jersey Hospital Association and hospitals in its Hospital Engagement Network have utilized transitional caregiver models to reduce readmissions by over 13 percent from January 2012 to December 2013, leading to 5,492 fewer patients being readmitted during that time, at a cost savings of over $52 million.

g. Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that this act enables caregivers to provide competent post-hospital care to their family and other loved ones, at minimal cost to the taxpayers of this State.

L.2014, c.68, s.1.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2014-11-18 09:24:15.

Older versions of 26:2H-5.24 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.