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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287, jeanne.atkinson@nebraska.gov

 

DHHS to Hold Six Hearings July 16 in Lincoln

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will hold six public hearings July 16, 2009. These hearings will take place in Lincoln at the State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South, lower level conference room A. The hearings are being held to accept comments on proposed regulations.

Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Children and Family Services is proposing to revise regulations for the Child Care Subsidy Program to:

  • Clarify regulations on the denial of child care subsidy to a parent who is pursuing a second undergraduate or post-graduate degree; and
  • Specify that a license-exempt child care provider must not work a second job during the hours s/he is providing child care.

Public Hearing at 9:30 a.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Children and Family Services is proposing to revise regulations for the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) and Employment First (EF) Self-Sufficiency programs. The proposed regulations will implement LB 458 of 2009 and incorporate federal changes to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The proposed changes will:

  • Implement LB 458, which increased the lifetime limit on participation in vocational training from 12 to 36 months;
  • Revise definitions of work-eligible individuals and those excluded;
  • Revise provisions for minor parent heads-of-household;
  • Require medical documentation of the need for a parent to be exempted from EF in order to remain in the home to care for a disabled family member;
  • Allow Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language courses to be counted as part of certain EF components;
  • Revise sanction provisions, including when an adult’s medical assistance can be reinstated after sanction;
  • Provide that TANF cash assistance received from another state will apply toward the family’s 60-month lifetime limit and that the benefit state’s policies will determine which benefit months count toward the federal time limit;
  • Clarify the treatment of child support in the determination of ongoing eligibility for ADC;
  • Revise the definition of “work-eligible individual” by deleting the spouse of a minor parent head-of-household;
  • Change the allowable Job Search/Job Readiness timeframe from allowable weeks (six or 12 per year) to allowable total hours (240 or 360 per year);
  • Clarify that the Job Search/Job Readiness time limits apply to the previous 12-month period, not the federal fiscal year;
  • Clarify that up to 12 months of post-secondary education can be considered as part of the Vocational Training component, to enable Nebraska to include these participants in the Work Participation Rate; and
  • Allow one hour of unsupervised study time for each hour of class time. This is in addition to any hours of supervised study time plus actual classroom hours.

Public Hearing at 10:00 a.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care is proposing to revise Medicaid regulations implement the Medicaid Prescription Drug Act. The proposed changes will:

  • Provide for negotiation and contracting for supplemental rebates with labelers of prescribed drugs;
  • Provide for establishment of a Preferred Drug List (PDL). Drugs on the PDL will not require prior authorization; and
  • Provide for the establishment of the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee, whose members will be approved by the Director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care.

Public Hearing at 1:00 p.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Public Health is proposing regulations on methamphetamine cleanup. The proposed regulations will establish requirements and procedures that a property owner must follow in the decontamination of property that is used for human habitation and is also known to have been a laboratory where methamphetamine was produced

Two hearings on earlier draft regulations were held in 2008. Comments from those hearings were considered in the drafting of these proposed new regulations.

Public Hearing at 2:00 p.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care is proposing to add “Home Again” services to Nebraska’s home and community-based services for persons who are Aged or Disabled.

  • The Home Again Service will support Medicaid-eligible nursing facility residents who are transitioning to a more independent living situation of their choice;
  • To receive the Home Again service, the client must currently be residing in a nursing facility and have had Medicaid pay for his/her nursing facility services for at least six months;
  • Items and services covered may include: furniture, furnishings, and household supplies; security deposits, utility installation fees or deposits; and moving expenses; and
  • Each client eligible for Home Again Service must have a designated HA Sponsor.

Public Hearing at 3:00 p.m. CT

The DHHS Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care is proposing revisions to Medicaid regulations to clarify that:

  • Child Care for Children with Disabilities pays for only that portion of child care provided to children related to their medical or disability-related needs; and
  • The parent or primary caregiver is responsible for the basic cost of routine child care when extended-hour home health or private-duty nursing services are authorized for reimbursement by Medicaid for a minor child or when the child is receiving Child Care for Children with disabilities.

Anyone may attend and comment at these hearings or submit comments in writing. Written comments must be postmarked or received by 5:00 p.m. CT, July 18, 2009. They should be sent to DHHS, Regulatory Analysis and Integration, 301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, NE 68509; faxed to 402-742-2382; or e-mailed to Rules.Regs@dhhs.ne.gov

If auxiliary aids or reasonable accommodations are needed to participate in a hearing, please call 402-471-9022. Persons with hearing impairments may call the DHHS at 402-471-9570 (voice and TDD) or the Nebraska Relay System at 711 or 800-833-7352 TDD.

Draft regulations and DHHS hearing notices are available online at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/reg_hearings.aspx

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