Section 1. Section 72 of chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following:-
The Department shall establish regulations for the operation of small house nursing homes, herein defined as one or more units of a nursing home designed and modeled as a private home including residential kitchen and living area. Newly constructed small houses shall house no more than fourteen individuals per unit, in resident rooms that accommodate not more than two residents per room, which are shared only at the request of a resident to accommodate a spouse, partner, family member or friend. All resident rooms shall contain a full private and accessible bathroom.
Regulations for small houses shall, to the extent practicable, prohibit the use of institutional features, including but not limited to nursing stations, medication carts, room numbers, and wall-mounted licenses or certificates that could appropriately be access through other means.
Regulations for construction and physical plant standards should be based on the smaller size and limited number of residents served in small houses in comparison with traditional nursing facility units. In addition to development of construction and physical plant standards that support small houses, regulations shall support a staffing model in small houses that allow for a universal worker approach to resident care that is organized to support and empower all staff to respond to the needs and desires of residents including cooking and meal prep, and provides for consistent staff in each small house.
Section 2. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is hereby directed to develop an add-on to rates of payment for nursing facilities that develop small house nursing homes and meet criteria established by EOHHS.
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