BILL SUMMARY for SB09-044
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Adopt prepared amendment L.001 (Attachment C). Th|
Page 4, strike lines 4 through 9. The amendment w
Refer Senate Bill 09-044, as amended, to the Commi
|Pass Without Objection|
01:41 PM -- Senate Bill 09-044
Senator Boyd introduced Senate Bill 09-044. She explained that the bill makes changes to the administrative procedures of the Department of Human Services that are governed by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Specifically, the bill allows a party to file an audio recording rather than a written transcript for provider appeals of an administrative law judge's decision. The bill also eliminates an exception for provider appeals that allowed an administrative law judge (ALJ) rather than the department to enter an order that became a final agency action. A fact sheet and sheet concerning the service providers' appeals process were distributed to the bill (Attachments A and B). An amendment, L.001 (Attachment C), was also distributed to the committee. Senator Boyd responded to questions from the committee.
01:45 PM -- Bill Hanna, Department of Human Services, described the APA, stating it dictates much of the notice provisions for the public with regard to department actions. Mr. Hanna described the appeals process within the department for providers of services. He stated the department receives about 2,000 appeals annually, which are heard through the Department of Human Services Office of Appeals. The decision of the appeals office constitutes final agency action. The dissatisfied party may request reconsideration by the Department of Human Services or may appeal to a district court. He walked the committee through the provisions of the bill, stating that the bill clarifies that, for the purpose of administrative hearings within the department, an audio, rather than a written, transcript is acceptable. The bill repeals an obsolete provision granting authority to request a waiver of federal requirements. Mr. Hanna explained that the bill also repeals an obsolete provision for appeals under the merit system for county employes. Finally, the bill addresses the rule making process within the Department of Human Services. The bill clarifies whether the Department of Human Services or the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services is responsible for rule making. Mr. Hanna stated the bill will not change department procedures, but will clarify statutes.
01:56 PM -- Wade Livingston, Department of Human Services, responded to questions from Senator Mitchell regarding the portion of the bill that eliminates an exception for provider appeals that allow the decision of an ALJ rather than the department to constitute final agency action for purposes of judicial review. Mr. Livingston stated that the bill does not affect anybody's opportunity to seek judicial review of decisions. Mr. Livingston and Senator Mitchell dialogued on that provision of the bill. Mr. Livingston emphasized that the change will ensure that all of the department appeals are handled consistently.
02:04 PM -- Mr. Hanna noted that the bill creates the opportunity for an additional appeal for providers who are subject to the exception where the ALJ enters a final agency action. Mr. Livingston responded to additional questions from Senator Mitchell regarding whether an ALJ or the department should be responsible for entering final agency actions.
Senator Boyd gave concluding remarks regarding the bill. She stated there is no fiscal impact to the bill. She explained amendment L.001, which is a technical amendment that inserts the bill's number in various places throughout the bill.
Senator Mitchell moved an amendment to remove the portion of the bill pertaining to ALJs and final agency actions by Department of Human Services. Mr. Livingston returned to the table to respond to the amendment, stating the procedures being changed by the bill apply to only about 10 appeals a year. Mr. Livingston responded to questions from Senator Mitchell regarding whether ALJ decisions are generally favorable to the provider or to the department.
Deborah Nelson, Department of Human Services, came to the table to respond to comments by Senator Mitchell regarding ALJs and final agency actions. Ms. Nelson emphasized that the Office of Appeals has subject matter expertise that ALJs sometimes do not. Senator Newell asked for additional information about the staff time devoted by the department to reviewing appeals versus the time spent by the ALJs. Ms. Nelson responded, noting that ALJ decisions often take 60 to 90 days while department decisions are often issued in 10 days. She responded to questions from Senator Newell regarding cost differences between ALJ appeals and appeals that are reviewed by the Office of Appeals. Senator Mitchell withdrew the amendment.
|TIME: || 02:20:22 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer Senate Bill 09-044, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on an 8-0 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 8 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.