New Jersey Statutory Update – Part I Banner Image

Healthcare Law Blog

New Jersey Statutory Update – Part I

October 19, 2023

Our next few postings will consist of several Parts highlighting New Jersey statutes that impact healthcare and have been approved by the New Jersey Legislature and Governor.

New Jersey Paves the Way for Family Members of a Medicaid Enrollee to Become a Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide

The New Jersey Legislature and Governor approved Bill S1307 to establish a program in which a Medicaid or NJ FamilyCare enrollee’s family member may be certified by the New Jersey Board of Nursing as a homemaker-home health aide. The family member must complete all training, testing, and other criteria to qualify. The enrollee must be under 21 years of age and qualify to receive home care services under Medicaid or NJ FamilyCare. Once the family member is certified, they may provide homemaker-home health aide services through a home care services agency under the direction of a registered nurse.

Healthcare Facilities to Implement Surgical Smoke Evacuation Policies

Approved Bill A256 requires healthcare facilities defined under the Act to implement policies to prevent exposure to surgical smoke by utilizing a smoke evacuation system during any procedure that generates surgical smoke from a surgical device. Under the bill, the appropriate smoke evacuation systems should be designed to “capture, filter, or eliminate” surgical smoke before it makes contact with any individual.  The law took effect on July 11, 2023.

Healthcare Heroes Violence Prevention Act

The New Jersey Legislature and Governor approved Bill A3199 amending N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1 which now makes it a criminal offense to intentionally threaten healthcare professionals or volunteers in an effort to intimidate them or interfere with their work. Under the bill, a person who knowingly and willfully makes, sends, or delivers a threat against any healthcare professional, healthcare facility, employee of a healthcare facility, or volunteer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. The penalties include up to 6 months in prison under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-8 and/or a fine up to $1,000 under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3. Additionally, anyone convicted of assaulting a covered healthcare worker faces up to 12 months of an anger management course and up to thirty days of community service.

New Jersey Creates Fund for Proceeds from Opioid Settlements to Address Epidemic

The New Jersey Legislature and Governor approved Bill S783 to establish an Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund, which requires the State Treasurer to deposit into the fund the State’s share of moneys received from opioid litigation resolutions. The Bill also establishes an advisory council to consult with the Department of Human Services on the allocation and disbursement of the fund. The Bill aims to support treatment and recovery programs for opioid use disorders and other co-occurring substance use disorders or mental health conditions, as well as connections to care, supporting research, and educating law enforcement and first responders.

New Jersey Dedicates Permanent Commission to Improving Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Approved Bill S1033 establishes the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Long-Term Advisory Commission within the Department of Human Services to provide for ongoing evaluations of the State’s care system for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia conditions. The Commission is charged with identifying methods to address the weaknesses in the care system and prepare to meet the increasing needs of people living with these disorders and evaluate existing programs, services, facilities, and agencies. The 12-member Commission will include medical professionals, caregivers, government representatives, and other industry professionals.

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