"California’s Ludicrous New Elder Abuse Reporting Law"

California law has changed dramatically for mandated reporters of suspected elder or dependent adult abuse. The good news: The changes only impact some instances of abuse. The bad news: The law is a needlessly complex mess.

California’s requirements for mandated reporting of elder and dependent adult abuse have changed significantly. These changes have already taken effect, because one of the bills putting the changes into place was marked as emergency legislation. The new law replaces what had been a single standard for when and to whom reports are sent with five different standards based on the specifics of the situation — specifics that, under the law, mandated reporters are not required to investigate.

As of today (because SB1051 was marked emergency legislation, it took effect September 27, 2012, immediately upon the Governor’s signature), mandated telephone reports of suspected elder or dependent adult abuse in California must be made “immediately or as soon as practicably possible” in some cases, “immediately, and no later than within two hours” in others, and within 24 hours in others. Written reports must be sent to various combinations of law enforcement, adult protective services, county ombudspersons, and facilities’ licensing agencies — requiring triplicate reporting in some instances. Filing reports via Internet appears to be allowed in some instances and not others. And the acceptable time frames for written reports will now vary as well, from 2 hours to two working days. These combinations are based on:

•Whether the abuse took place in a long-term care facility •Whether the abuse was physical abuse •Whether the abuse resulted in serious bodily injury •Whether the abuse was caused by a resident with a physician’s diagnosis of dementia For the problems that existed with the old standard, at least mandated reporters could be reasonably expected to know who they needed to report to, and when. The new standards are simply too complex to be held in memory, and will likely result in many reports being sent to the wrong places at the wrong times.

It’s bad law.

Full Article and Source:
California’s Ludicrois New Elder Abuse Reporting Law

4 Responses to “"California’s Ludicrous New Elder Abuse Reporting Law"”

  1. Betty Says:

    Seems bureaucracy wins again!

  2. Mike Says:

    If making it difficult makes it nearly impossible, then one would have to wonder if there was ever a good intent behind it.

  3. Thelma Says:

    I;ll never go to California; I think their treatment of the vulnerable elderly is among the worst in the states.

  4. StandUp Says:

    It's like they almost enjoy making things harder…

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