24 CFR § 700.135 - Professional assessment committee.

§ 700.135 Professional assessment committee.

(a) General.

(1) A professional assessment committee (PAC), as described in this section, shall recommend services appropriate to the functional abilities and needs of each eligible project resident. The PAC shall be either a voluntary committee appointed by the project management or an agency in the community which provides assessment services and conforms to section 802(e)(3)(A) and (B). PAC members are subject to the conflict of interest provisions in section 700.175(b).

(2) The PAC shall utilize procedures that ensure that the process of determining eligibility of individuals for congregate services affords individuals fair treatment, due process, and a right of appeal of the determination of eligibility, and shall ensure the confidentiality of personal and medical records.

(3) The dollar value of PAC members' time spent on regular assessments after initial approval of program participants may be counted as match. If a community agency discharges the duties of the PAC, staff time is counted as its imputed value, and if the members are volunteers, their time is counted as volunteer time, according to sections 700.145(c)(2) (ii) and (iv).

(b) Duties of the PAC. The PAC is required to:

(1) Perform a formal assessment of each potential elderly program participant to determine if the individual is frail. To qualify as frail, the PAC must determine if the elderly person is deficient in at least three ADLs, as defined in section 700.105. This assessment shall be based upon the screening done by the service coordinator, and shall include a review of the adequacy of the informal support network (i.e., family and friends available to the potential participant to assist in meeting the ADL needs of that individual), and may include a more in-depth medical evaluation, if necessary;

(2) Determine if non-elderly disabled individuals qualify under the definition of person with disabilities under section 700.105. If they do qualify, this is the acceptance criterion for them for CHSP. Persons with disabilities do not require an assessment by the PAC;

(3) Perform a regular assessment and updating of the case plan of all participants;

(4) Obtain and retain information in participant files, containing such information and maintained in such form, as HUD or RHS shall require;

(5) Replace any members of the PAC within 30 days after a member resigns. A PAC shall not do formal assessments if its membership drops below three, or if the qualified medical professional leaves the PAC and has not been replaced.

(6) Notify the grantee or eligible owner and the program participants of any proposed modifications to PAC procedures, and provide these parties with a process and reasonable time period in which to review and comment, before adoption of a modification;

(7) Provide assurance of nondiscrimination in selection of CHSP participants, with respect to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, familial status or type of disability;

(8) Provide complete confidentiality of information related to any individual examined, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974;

(9) Provide all formal information and reports in writing.

(c) Prohibitions relating to the PAC.

(1) At least one PAC member shall not have any direct or indirect relationship to the grantee.

(2) No PAC member may be affiliated with organizations providing services under the grant.

(3) Individuals or staff of third party organizations that act as PAC members may not be paid with CHSP grant funds.

(d) Eligibility and admissions.

(1) Before selecting potential program participants, each grantee (with PAC assistance) shall develop a CHSP application form. The information in the individual's application is crucial to the PAC's ability to determine the need for further physical or psychological evaluation.

(2) The PAC, upon completion of a potential program participant's initial assessment, must make a recommendation to the service coordinator for that individual's acceptance or denial into CHSP.

(3) Once a program participant is accepted into CHSP, the PAC must provide a supportive services case plan for each participant. In developing this plan, the PAC must take into consideration the participant's needs and wants. The case plan must provide the minimum supportive services necessary to maintain independence.

(e) Transition-out procedures. The grantee or PAC must develop procedures for providing for an individual's transition out of CHSP to another setting. Transition out is based upon the degree of supportive services needed by an individual to continue to live independently. If a program participant leaves the program, but wishes to retain supportive services, he or she may do so, as long as he or she continues to live in an eligible project, pays the full cost of services provided, and management agrees (section 802(e)(4) and (5)). A participant can be moved out of CHSP if he or she:

(1) Gains physical and mental health and is able to function without supportive services, even if only for a short time (in which case readmission, based upon reassessment to determine the degree of frailty or the disability, is acceptable);

(2) Requires a higher level of care than that which can be provided under CHSP; or

(3) Fails to pay services fees.

(f) Procedural rights of participants.

(1) The PAC must provide an informal process that recognizes the right to due process of individuals receiving assistance. This process, at a minimum, must consist of:

(i) Serving the participant with a written notice containing a clear statement of the reasons for termination;

(ii) A review of the decision, in which the participant is given the opportunity to present written or oral objections before a person other than the person (or a subordinate of that person) who made or approved the termination decision; and

(iii) Prompt written notification of the final decision to the participant.

(2) Procedures must ensure that any potential or current program participant, at the time of initial or regular assessment, has the option of refusing offered services and requesting other supportive services as part of the case planning process.

(3) In situations where an individual requests additional services, not initially recommended by the PAC, the PAC must make a determination of whether the request is legitimately a needs-based service that can be covered under CHSP subsidy. Individuals can pay for services other than those recommended by the PAC as long as the additional services do not interfere with the efficient operation of the program.