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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled SB 83                                                                                                          
01 Relating to the protection of vulnerable adults and residents of long term care facilities.                             
02                           _______________                                                                               
03    * Section 1. AS 47.24.010(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
04 (a)  Except as provided in (e) [AND (f)] of this section, the following persons                                         
05 who, in the performance of their professional duties, have reasonable cause to believe                                  
06 that a vulnerable adult suffers from undue influence, abandonment, exploitation,                                        
07 abuse, neglect, or self-neglect shall, not later than 24 hours after first having cause for                             
08 the belief, report the belief to the department's vulnerable adult centralized intake                                 
09 office [CENTRAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE FOR                                                                  
10       VULNERABLE ADULTS IN THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT                                                            
11       HANDLES ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES]:                                                                               
12                 (1)  a physician or other licensed health care provider;                                                
13                 (2)  a mental health professional as defined in AS 47.30.915 and                                        
01       including a marital and family therapist licensed under AS 08.63;                                                 
02                 (3)  a pharmacist;                                                                                      
03                 (4)  an administrator or employee of a nursing home, residential care,                                  
04       or health care facility;                                                                                          
05                 (5)  a guardian or conservator;                                                                         
06                 (6)  a police officer;                                                                                  
07                 (7)  a village public safety officer;                                                                   
08                 (8)  a village health aide;                                                                             
09                 (9)  a social worker;                                                                                   
10                 (10)  a member of the clergy;                                                                           
11 (11)  a staff employee of a project funded by the Department of                                                         
12 Administration for the provision of services to older Alaskans, the Department of                                       
13       Health and Social Services, or the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault;                               
14                 (12)  an employee of a personal care or home health aide program;                                       
15 (13)  an emergency medical technician or a mobile intensive care                                                        
16       paramedic;                                                                                                        
17                 (14)  a caregiver of the vulnerable adult;                                                              
18                 (15)  a certified nurse aide;                                                                           
19 (16)  an educator or administrative staff member of a public or private                                                 
20       educational institution.                                                                                          
21    * Sec. 2. AS 47.24.010(e) is amended to read:                                                                        
22 (e)  If a person making a report under this section believes that immediate                                             
23 action is necessary to protect the vulnerable adult from imminent risk of serious                                       
24 physical harm due to undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or                                     
25 self-neglect and the reporting person cannot immediately contact the department's                                       
26 vulnerable adult centralized intake office [CENTRAL INFORMATION AND                                                   
27 REFERRAL SERVICE FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS], the reporting person shall                                                     
28 make the report to a police officer or a village public safety officer. The police officer                              
29 or village public safety officer shall take immediate action to protect the vulnerable                                  
30 adult and shall, within 24 hours after receiving the report of harm, notify the                                         
31 department. A person may not bring an action for damages against a police officer, a                                    
01 village public safety officer, the state, or a political subdivision of the state based on a                            
02 decision under this subsection to take or not to take immediate action to protect a                                     
03 vulnerable adult. If a decision is made under this subsection to take immediate action                                  
04 to protect a vulnerable adult, a person may not bring an action for damages based on                                    
05 the protective actions taken unless the protective actions were performed with gross                                    
06 negligence or intentional misconduct; damages awarded in the action may include                                         
07       only direct economic compensatory damages for personal injury.                                                    
08    * Sec. 3. AS 47.24.011 is amended to read:                                                                           
09 Sec. 47.24.011. Duties of the department regarding services and protection                                              
10 for vulnerable adults. In order to facilitate the provision of supportive and protective                                
11       services for vulnerable adults, the department shall                                                              
12 (1)  compile information on available supportive and protective                                                         
13       services for vulnerable adults in the state;                                                                      
14 (2)  establish, publicize, and maintain a vulnerable adult centralized                                                
15 intake office [CENTRAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE FOR                                                           
16       VULNERABLE ADULTS];                                                                                               
17 (3)  develop and coordinate a statewide system to serve vulnerable                                                      
18       adults who are in need of protective services;                                                                    
19 (4)  establish criteria and procedures for the authorization and                                                        
20 supervision of other state agencies or community-based service providers to serve as                                    
21       designees of the department under this chapter;                                                                   
22 (5)  in accordance with this chapter, designate other state agencies or                                                 
23 community-based service providers to deliver supportive and protective services to                                      
24       vulnerable adults who are in need of protective services;                                                         
25 (6)  develop within the vulnerable adult centralized intake office                                                    
26 [CENTRAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE FOR VULNERABLE                                                                
27 ADULTS] a central registry for reports of vulnerable adults in need of protective                                       
28       services;                                                                                                         
29 (7)  maintain confidentiality of records as provided for in                                                             
30       AS 47.24.050; and                                                                                                 
31                 (8)  adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of this chapter.                                       
01    * Sec. 4. AS 47.24.013(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
02 (a)  If a report received under AS 47.24.010 pertains to the undue influence,                                           
03 abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect of a vulnerable adult [WHO                                   
04 IS 60 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER] that is alleged to have been committed by or to                                            
05 have resulted from the negligence of the staff or a volunteer of an out-of-home care                                    
06 facility, including a facility licensed under AS 47.32, in which the vulnerable adult                                   
07 resides, the department may forward [SHALL TRANSFER] the report [FOR                                                  
08 INVESTIGATION] to the long term care ombudsman for investigation under                                                
09       AS 47.62.015.                                                                                                     
10    * Sec. 5. AS 47.24.013(b) is amended to read:                                                                        
11 (b)  The department shall investigate a report received under AS 47.24.010                                              
12 regarding the undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-                                      
13 neglect of a vulnerable adult [WHO IS LESS THAN 60 YEARS OF AGE] that is                                                
14 alleged to have been committed by or to have resulted from the negligence of the staff                                  
15       or a volunteer of an out-of-home care facility in which the vulnerable adult resides.                             
16    * Sec. 6. AS 47.24.013(d) is amended to read:                                                                        
17 (d)  If the long term care ombudsman directly receives [DIRECTLY] a report                                            
18 regarding the undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-                                      
19 neglect of a vulnerable adult in an out-of-home care facility, the ombudsman may                                      
20 [SHALL] provide the report, and the results of the ombudsman's actions or                                               
21 investigations regarding the report, to the department's vulnerable adult centralized                                 
22 intake office. The ombudsman shall obtain the informed consent of the                                                 
23 vulnerable adult or the vulnerable adult's resident representative before                                             
24 providing the report to the department [CENTRAL INFORMATION AND                                                       
25 REFERRAL SERVICE OF THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT                                                                   
26 HANDLES ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES]. The department may investigate the                                                  
27 report as described in AS 47.24.015 if the department determines that action is                                         
28 appropriate. In this subsection, "resident representative" has the meaning given in                                   
29       AS 47.62.090.                                                                                                   
30    * Sec. 7. AS 47.24.015(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
31 (a)  Upon the department's receipt of a report under AS 47.24.010 [THAT IS                                              
01 NOT TRANSFERRED UNDER AS 47.24.013], the department, or its designee, shall                                             
02 promptly initiate an investigation to determine whether the vulnerable adult who is the                                 
03 subject of the report suffers from undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse,                                   
04 neglect, or self-neglect. The department, or its designee, shall conduct a face-to-face                                 
05 interview with the vulnerable adult [SUBJECT OF THE REPORT] unless that                                               
06       person is unconscious or the department, or its designee, has determined that a face-to-                          
07 face interview could further endanger the vulnerable adult. In this subsection, "face-                                
08 to-face interview" means an in-person interview or an interview conducted                                             
09 through the use of technology that allows participants who are physically                                             
10       separated from each other to interact visually and orally.                                                      
11    * Sec. 8. AS 47.62.015(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
12 (a)  The ombudsman shall investigate and resolve a complaint made by or on                                              
13 behalf of an older Alaskan who resides in a long term care facility in the state if the                                 
14 complaint relates to a decision, action, or failure to act by a provider or a                                           
15 representative of a provider of long term care services, or by a public agency or social                                
16 services agency, that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights of the                                
17 older Alaskan. At the discretion of the ombudsman, the ombudsman may                                                  
18 investigate and resolve a complaint made by or on behalf of a resident who is not                                     
19 an older Alaskan if the complaint relates to a decision, action, or failure to act by                                 
20 a provider or a representative of a provider of long term care services, or by a                                      
21 public agency or social services agency, that may adversely affect the health,                                        
22       safety, welfare, or rights of the resident.                                                                     
23    * Sec. 9. AS 47.62.015(c) is amended to read:                                                                        
24            (c)  The ombudsman may                                                                                       
25 (1)  subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, require the                                                           
26 production of evidence, administer oaths, and examine any person under oath in                                          
27 connection with a complaint described under (a) of this section; the powers described                                   
28       in this paragraph shall be enforced by the superior court;                                                        
29 (2)  pursue administrative, legal, or other appropriate remedies on                                                     
30 behalf of a resident of [AN OLDER ALASKAN WHO RESIDES IN] a long term                                                 
31       care facility in the state.                                                                                       
01    * Sec. 10. AS 47.62.025 is amended to read:                                                                          
02 Sec. 47.62.025. Access to long term care facilities, residents of long term                                           
03 care facilities [OLDER ALASKANS], and records. (a) A person may not deny                                              
04 access to a long term care facility or to a resident of a long term care facility [AN                                 
05 OLDER ALASKAN] by the ombudsman or an employee, volunteer, or other                                                     
06       representative of the office.                                                                                     
07 (b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of AS 47.62.015(c)(1), the ombudsman                                                
08 may obtain medical or other records of a resident of [AN OLDER ALASKAN WHO                                            
09 RESIDES IN] a long term care facility in the state only with the consent of the                                         
10 resident or the person's resident representative or [OLDER ALASKAN OR THE                                             
11 OLDER ALASKAN'S] legal guardian or, if the resident [OLDER ALASKAN] is                                                
12 unable or incompetent to consent and does not have a resident representative                                          
13       [LEGAL GUARDIAN], only with a subpoena or court order.                                                          
14    * Sec. 11. AS 47.62.030(b) is amended to read:                                                                       
15 (b)  The identity of a complainant or an older Alaskan or resident of a long                                          
16 term care facility on whose behalf a complaint is made may only [NOT] be disclosed                                  
17 with [WITHOUT] the consent of the identified person or the person's legal guardian                                    
18 or resident representative or [, UNLESS REQUIRED] by court order. However, if                                       
19 an older Alaskan is unable to provide consent and does not have a legal guardian,                                     
20 or if a resident of a long term care facility is unable to provide consent and does                                   
21 not have a resident representative, the ombudsman may disclose the identity of                                        
22 an identified person for the purpose of making a referral to an agency or person,                                     
23       if the ombudsman or an employee or volunteer of the office                                                      
24 (1)  has reasonable cause to believe that an action, inaction, or                                                     
25 decision, including an action, inaction, or decision by a resident representative or                                  
26 a legal guardian of an older Alaskan, may adversely affect the health, safety,                                        
27       welfare, or rights of the older Alaskan or resident;                                                            
28 (2)  has reasonable cause to believe the referral is in the best                                                      
29       interest of the older Alaskan or resident;                                                                      
30 (3)  obtains the approval of the ombudsman for the disclosure and                                                     
31       referral; and                                                                                                   
01                 (4)  does not have evidence that the older Alaskan or resident                                        
02       would disagree with the referral.                                                                               
03    * Sec. 12. AS 47.62.060 is amended to read:                                                                          
04 Sec. 47.62.060. Cooperative agreements. The authority shall enter into                                                  
05 cooperative agreements concerning the operations of the office, including protocols                                     
06 for investigations, with state and local agencies that have jurisdiction over long term                                 
07 care facilities or over the abuse and neglect of older Alaskans or residents of long                                  
08       term care facilities.                                                                                           
09    * Sec. 13. AS 47.62.090(4) is amended to read:                                                                       
10                 (4)  "older Alaskan" means a person [RESIDENT] who is 60 years of                                     
11       age or older and who resides in the state;                                                                      
12    * Sec. 14. AS 47.62.090 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read:                                                 
13                 (7)  "resident" means a person who resides in a long term care facility                                 
14       in the state;                                                                                                     
15                 (8)  "resident representative" means                                                                    
16                      (A)  an individual chosen by a resident to act on behalf of the                                    
17            resident to                                                                                                  
18                           (i)  support the resident in decision making;                                                 
19                           (ii)  access medical, social, or other personal information                                   
20                 of the resident;                                                                                        
21                           (iii)  manage financial matters; or                                                           
22                           (iv)  receive notifications;                                                                  
23                      (B)  a person authorized by federal or state law to act on behalf                                  
24            of a resident.                                                                                               
25    * Sec. 15. AS 47.24.010(f), 47.24.013(c)(3), and 47.24.013(e) are repealed.                                          
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