Archive for the ‘Mandatory Reporting’ Category

Oregon’s HB2205 to Expland the List of Mandatory Elder Abuse Reporters

June 3, 2013

The Oregon House is scheduled to give final approval this morning to legislation expanding the list of people who must report incidents of elder abuse to authorities.

House Bill 2205 adds lawmakers, attorneys, dentists, optometrists and chiropractors to the list of mandatory reporters. The duty would apply around the clock, and not just when the person is working in his or her professional capacity. Lawyers and clergy would not have to report abuse if the information was learned through privileged communications.

Reporting Elder Abuse, Smoking With Kids in Cars, Family Leave: Oregon Legislature Today

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Read About HB2205

Colorado Bill Requiring Reporting of Elder Abuse Progresses

May 13, 2013

A bill that would mandate elder abuse reporting in Colorado is finally on its way to becoming law.

Senate Bill 111 requires individuals in certain professional fields to report known or suspected cases of abuse involving people age 70 or older.

The bill passed the House May 1 on a 56-8 vote, after it had previously breezed through the Senate.

Rep. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, a House sponsor of the bill, said the legislation is “over 20 years” in the making.

“It’s failed several times, but we’ve finally got it right,” Schafer said during a recent House debate.

“This demographic is as important to protect as it is with child abuse.”

Full Article and Source:
Bill Requires Reporting of Elder Abuse

Probe Results in Fine for TN Nursing Home, Block on New Admissions

May 10, 2013

A state investigation of the Bristol Nursing Home recently turned up allegations of a possible sexual assault victim who went days without a medical exam, and of a nurse who taped a patient’s mouth to keep him quiet, a report reveals.
The Tennessee Department of Health fined the nursing home $3,000  and has blocked new admissions until investigators are convinced they will not see a repeat performance.

Investigators accused the 120-bed facility of ignoring its own rules and state law when it failed to report immediately both abuse complaints to the state as well as to the patients’ doctors and guardians. Both patients have been diagnosed with dementia.

On Dec. 6, 2012, a housekeeper complained that a registered nurse briefly taped the patient’s mouth because he refused to stop screaming.

More than a month passed before nursing home officials told the patient’s guardian on Jan. 11, 2013. The nursing home administrator first reported the incident to the state during the investigation, on April 11, 2013.

“The allegation was not reported because I … felt like it didn’t meet the definition of abuse,” investigators quote the home administrator as saying.

Full Article and Source:
Probe Results in Fine for Bristol Nursing Home, Block on New Admissions

Read the Investigation

Mandatory Elder Abuse Reporting Bill Heads to Colorado’s Governor

May 5, 2013

A bill requiring people in certain occupations — ranging from physicians to clergy members — to report abuse or exploitation of seniors in Colorado is heading to to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 111 passed through the House Wednesday morning and will now go to Gov. John Hickenlooper to be signed into law. Currently, Colorado is one of three states that does not require certain professionals, such as caretakers for elders, to report abuse or exploitations against seniors.

The bill will require nurses, chiropractors, law enforcement officers, dentists, nursing home staff, home health care workers and others to report any abuse or exploitation of anyone over the age of 70.

These mandatory reporters will be required by law to report any incidents to law enforcement within 24 hours of observing the abuse.

The bill was amended in committee to clarify that while clergy members are considered mandatory reporters, the “penitent privilege” that allows a clergy member keep certain information confidential, such as a parishioner giving a confession to a priest, still applies.

Any mandatory reporter who willfully fails to report the abuse could face a class 3 misdemeanor charge.

Full Article and Source:
Mandatory Elder Abuse Reporting Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

Editorial: CO Should Make Reporting of Elder Abuse Mandatory

February 3, 2013

The Denver Post editorial board laid out a plan for how to improve the state in five easy (legislative) steps.

I’d like to suggest a sixth step is needed: mandatory reporting of elder abuse.

Colorado is one of only three states that does not have a law specifically protecting our elder population from physical, sexual, caretaker and financial harm by requiring those in a position of awareness to report suspected abuse.

Last year, our legislature created a task force to study the issue. It recommended a system of mandatory reporting for the mistreatment and exploitation of at-risk persons over 70 years of age.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has dedicated $5 million to put into place the policies and procedures needed for adult protective services to be resourced appropriately to be effective. It is now time to move from studying the issue to acting on it by passing the upcoming legislation sponsored by state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, state Rep. Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, and Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument. Their efforts would commit the resources that Colorado’s seniors need to help protect them from harm.

Full Editorial and Source:
Colorado Should Make Reporting of Elder Abuse Mandatory, Suthers Says

Banks Can Help Defend Elderly Against Scams

November 17, 2012

Banks and other financial institutions are an important line of defense against scammers seeking to defraud the elderly, but too often tellers and branch managers are not trained to recognize the warning signs, says a Government Accountability Office report issued Thursday.

The study, which looked at programs aimed at fighting fraud that targets the elderly in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York, said that out of misguided concern they might breach federal privacy laws, banks and other financial institutions are sometimes reluctant to share information with agencies that work to protect older people from financial crimes.

“Banks are well-positioned to recognize, report, and provide evidence supporting investigations,” said Kay E. Brown, director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security at the GAO. “However, many social-services and law enforcement officials we spoke with indicated banks do not always recognize and report exploitation or provide evidence needed to investigate it.”

The report was released at the outset of a hearing Thursday before the Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington on efforts nationally to combat elder financial abuse.

It comes one year after the indictment of Philadelphia lawyer Michael Kwasnik by a New Jersey state grand jury on charges of stealing $1.1 million from a Cherry Hill widow who had hired him for estate planning and to manage her money.

Full Article and Source:
Banks Can Help Defend Elderly Against Scams

"California’s Ludicrous New Elder Abuse Reporting Law"

October 24, 2012

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