2016 Tennessee Legislative Agenda
Issue: Nurse Delegation
Summary: The ability for a registered nurse (R.N.) to delegate certain medical tasks to a home health care provider. This is typically a health maintenance task that can safely be performed according to exact directions, with no need to alter the standard procedure, and the results are predictable.
- These are tasks that family members who have no professional training perform for their loved ones every day in their own homes.
- We support permissive authority for delegation, and does not mandate a nurse to delegate. The decision whether to delegate tasks to a particular unskilled worker is completely within the discretion of that R.N. —one person at a time, one task at a time, and one unlicensed person at a time—but may well make the difference in whether a person is able to receive safe and cost-effective care at home and in the community or be forced into an institution.
- It will also provide protection from liability to nurses acting within the protocols of their delegation authority for any action performed, as well as to the unlicensed person as long as they follow the written delegation instructions from the R.N.
Issue: Broadband Access
Summary: Broadband fiber technology provides an essential infrastructure for delivering ultra-high-speed broadband Internet capable of greatly improving access to education, healthcare, business, economic development and overall quality of life.
- Local municipalities should be able to decide for themselves how to meet the needs of their own communities, rather than leaving these decisions to the discretion of private companies.
- Hundreds of thousands of Tennessee households, mostly in rural areas, remain underserved. Even more have only one provider option.
- Private broadband providers are focused on delivering service in metropolitan areas rather than investing in infrastructure to serve rural areas. These private providers strongly oppose efforts of local communities to provide this essential infrastructure for themselves.
Issue: Property Tax Relief
Summary: Property tax relief offers tax relief to approximately 137,000 Tennesseans. This program reduces the property tax owed on a home for the elderly, disabled and 100% disabled veteran.
- In 2015, the legislature made modest changes to the way property tax relief was delivered to create sustainability in the program.
- The program, since its inception, has been serving Tennessee’s neediest citizens.
- Property tax relief serves three groups of Tennesseans: the elderly, the disabled and the 100% disabled veteran. Several bills have been filed to restore funds to one group, excluding another. We support restoring funds to all groups, but not favoring one group at the expense of another.
Issue: CHOICES 3
Summary: CHOICES 3 is for people whose disabilities require assistance to perform at least one essential activity of daily living. They don’t yet qualify for nursing home care, but they need a more moderate package of home care services to delay or prevent the need for nursing home care.
- Those services cannot cost more than $15,000 per year, far less than the $55,000 average annual cost of nursing home care in Tennessee.
- On July 1, 2015, TennCare cut the eligibility limit from $2,200 per month to $753 monthly. TennCare stopped accepting applications for the CHOICES 3 program from anyone unless they qualify for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for the very poor.
- We need to restore funding to this program so that Tennessee’s neediest citizens have help when they need it.