SECOND EXTRAORDINARY SESSION
SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE BILL NO. 4
92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Reported from the Committee on Aging, Families, Mental and Public Health, September 9, 2003, with recommendation that the Senate Committee Substitute do pass.
TERRY L. SPIELER, Secretary.
To repeal sections 660.300 and 660.317, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to hiring restrictions for in-home and home health agencies, with penalty provisions and an emergency clause.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Sections 660.300 and 660.317, RSMo, are repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 660.300 and 660.317, to read as follows:
660.300. 1. When any adult day care worker; chiropractor; Christian Science practitioner; coroner; dentist; embalmer; employee of the departments of social services, mental health, or health and senior services; employee of a local area agency on aging or an organized area agency on aging program; funeral director; home health agency or home health agency employee; hospital and clinic personnel engaged in examination, care, or treatment of persons; in-home services owner, provider, operator, or employee; law enforcement officer; long-term care facility administrator or employee; medical examiner; medical resident or intern; mental health professional; minister; nurse; nurse practitioner; optometrist; other health practitioner; peace officer; pharmacist; physical therapist; physician; physician's assistant; podiatrist; probation or parole officer; psychologist; or social worker has reasonable cause to believe that an in-home services client has been abused or neglected, as a result of in-home services, he or she shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the department. If the report is made by a physician of the in-home services client, the department shall maintain contact with the physician regarding the progress of the investigation.
2. When a report of deteriorating physical condition resulting in possible abuse or neglect of an in-home services client is received by the department, the client's case manager and the department nurse shall be notified. The client's case manager shall investigate and immediately report the results of the investigation to the department nurse. The department may authorize the in-home services provider nurse to assist the case manager with the investigation.
3. If requested, local area agencies on aging shall provide volunteer training to those persons listed in subsection 1 of this section regarding the detection and report of abuse and neglect pursuant to this section.
4. Any person required in subsection 1 of this section to report or cause a report to be made to the department who fails to do so within a reasonable time after the act of abuse or neglect is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
5. The report shall contain the names and addresses of the in-home services provider agency, the in-home services employee, the in-home services client, the home health agency, the home health agency employee, information regarding the nature of the abuse or neglect, the name of the complainant, and any other information which might be helpful in an investigation.
6. In addition to those persons required to report under subsection 1 of this section, any other person having reasonable cause to believe that an in-home services client or home health patient has been abused or neglected by an in-home services employee or home health agency employee may report such information to the department.
7. If the investigation indicates possible abuse or neglect of an in-home services client or home health patient, the investigator shall refer the complaint together with his or her report to the department director or his or her designee for appropriate action. If, during the investigation or at its completion, the department has reasonable cause to believe that immediate action is necessary to protect the in-home services client or home health patient from abuse or neglect, the department or the local prosecuting attorney may, or the attorney general upon request of the department shall, file a petition for temporary care and protection of the in-home services client or home health patient in a circuit court of competent jurisdiction. The circuit court in which the petition is filed shall have equitable jurisdiction to issue an ex parte order granting the department authority for the temporary care and protection of the in-home services client or home health patient, for a period not to exceed thirty days.
8. Reports shall be confidential, as provided under section 660.320.
9. Anyone, except any person who has abused or neglected an in-home services client or home health patient, who makes a report pursuant to this section or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from the report shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability for making such a report or for testifying except for liability for perjury, unless such person acted negligently, recklessly, in bad faith, or with malicious purpose.
10. Within five working days after a report required to be made under this section is received, the person making the report shall be notified in writing of its receipt and of the initiation of the investigation.
11. No person who directs or exercises any authority in an in-home services provider agency or home health agency shall harass, dismiss or retaliate against an in-home services client or home health patient, or an in-home services employee or a home health agency employee because he or any member of his or her family has made a report of any violation or suspected violation of laws, standards or regulations applying to the in-home services provider agency or home health agency or any in-home services employee or home health agency employee which he has reasonable cause to believe has been committed or has occurred.
12. Any person who abuses or neglects an in-home services client or home health patient is subject to criminal prosecution under section 565.180, 565.182, or 565.184, RSMo. If such person is an in-home services employee and has been found guilty by a court, and if the supervising in-home services provider willfully and knowingly failed to report known abuse by such employee to the department, the supervising in-home services provider may be subject to administrative penalties of one thousand dollars per violation to be collected by the department and the money received therefor shall be paid to the director of revenue and deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund. Any in-home services provider which has had administrative penalties imposed by the department or which has had its contract terminated may seek an administrative review of the department's action pursuant to chapter 621, RSMo. Any decision of the administrative hearing commission may be appealed to the circuit court in the county where the violation occurred for a trial de novo. For purposes of this subsection, the term "violation" means a determination of guilt by a court.
13. The department shall establish a quality assurance and supervision process for clients that requires an in-home services provider agency to conduct random visits to verify compliance with program standards and verify the accuracy of records kept by an in-home services employee.
14. The department shall maintain the employee disqualification list and place on the employee disqualification list the names of any persons who have been finally determined by the department, pursuant to section 660.315, to have recklessly, knowingly or purposely abused or neglected an in-home services client or home health patient while employed by an in-home services provider agency or home health agency. For purposes of this section only, "knowingly" and "recklessly" shall have the meanings that are ascribed to them in this section. A person acts "knowingly" with respect to the person's conduct when a reasonable person should be aware of the result caused by his or her conduct. A person acts "recklessly" when the person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the person's conduct will result in serious physical injury and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the situation. [Any in-home services provider agency or home health agency that knowingly employs a person who refuses to register with the family care safety registry or who is listed on any of the background check lists in the family care safety registry, pursuant to sections 210.900 to 210.937, RSMo, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.]
15. At the time a client has been assessed to determine the level of care as required by rule and is eligible for in-home services, the department shall conduct a "Safe at Home Evaluation" to determine the client's physical, mental, and environmental capacity. The department shall develop the safe at home evaluation tool by rule in accordance with chapter 536, RSMo. The purpose of the safe at home evaluation is to assure that each client has the appropriate level of services and professionals involved in the client's care. The plan of service or care for each in-home services client shall be authorized by a nurse. The department may authorize the licensed in-home services nurse, in lieu of the department nurse, to conduct the assessment of the client's condition and to establish a plan of services or care. The department may use the expertise, services, or programs of other departments and agencies on a case-by-case basis to establish the plan of service or care. The department may, as indicated by the safe at home evaluation, refer any client to a mental health professional, as defined in 9 CSR 30-4.030, for evaluation and treatment as necessary.
16. Authorized nurse visits shall occur at least twice annually to assess the client and the client's plan of services. The provider nurse shall report the results of his or her visits to the client's case manager. If the provider nurse believes that the plan of service requires alteration, the department shall be notified and the department shall make a client evaluation. All authorized nurse visits shall be reimbursed to the in-home services provider. All authorized nurse visits shall be reimbursed outside of the nursing home cap for in-home services clients whose services have reached one hundred percent of the average statewide charge for care and treatment in an intermediate care facility, provided that the services have been preauthorized by the department.
17. All in-home services clients shall be advised of their rights by the department at the initial evaluation. The rights shall include, but not be limited to, the right to call the department for any reason, including dissatisfaction with the provider or services. The department shall establish a process to receive such nonabuse and neglect calls other than the elder abuse and neglect hot line.
18. Subject to appropriations, all nurse visits authorized in sections 660.250 to 660.300 shall be reimbursed to the in-home services provider agency.
660.317. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "provider" means any person, corporation or association who:
(1) Is licensed as an operator pursuant to chapter 198, RSMo;
(2) Provides in-home services under contract with the department;
(3) Employs nurses or nursing assistants for temporary or intermittent placement in health care facilities;
(4) Is an entity licensed pursuant to chapter 197, RSMo;
(5) Is a public or private facility, day program, residential facility or specialized service operated, funded or licensed by the department of mental health; or
(6) Is a licensed adult day care provider.
2. For the purpose of this section "patient or resident" has the same meaning as such term is defined in section 43.540, RSMo.
3. Prior to allowing any person who has been hired as a full-time, part-time or temporary position to have contact with any patient or resident the provider shall, or in the case of temporary employees hired through or contracted for an employment agency, the employment agency shall prior to sending a temporary employee to a provider:
(1) Request a criminal background check as provided in section 43.540, RSMo. Completion of an inquiry to the highway patrol for criminal records that are available for disclosure to a provider for the purpose of conducting an employee criminal records background check shall be deemed to fulfill the provider's duty to conduct employee criminal background checks pursuant to this section; except that, completing the inquiries pursuant to this subsection shall not be construed to exempt a provider from further inquiry pursuant to common law requirements governing due diligence. If an applicant has not resided in this state for five consecutive years prior to the date of his or her application for employment, the provider shall request a nationwide check for the purpose of determining if the applicant has a prior criminal history in other states. The fingerprint cards and any required fees shall be sent to the highway patrol's criminal records division. The first set of fingerprints shall be used for searching the state repository of criminal history information. If no identification is made, the second set of fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, for the searching of the federal criminal history files. The patrol shall notify the submitting state agency of any criminal history information or lack of criminal history information discovered on the individual. The provisions relating to applicants for employment who have not resided in this state for five consecutive years shall apply only to persons who have no employment history with a licensed Missouri facility during that five-year period. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 610.120, RSMo, all records related to any criminal history information discovered shall be accessible and available to the provider making the record request; and
(2) Make an inquiry to the department of health and senior services whether the person is listed on the employee disqualification list as provided in section 660.315.
4. When the provider requests a criminal background check pursuant to section 43.540, RSMo, the requesting entity may require that the applicant reimburse the provider for the cost of such record check. When a provider requests a nationwide criminal background check pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection 3 of this section, the total cost to the provider of any background check required pursuant to this section shall not exceed five dollars which shall be paid to the state. State funding and the obligation of a provider to obtain a nationwide criminal background check shall be subject to the availability of appropriations.
5. An applicant for a position to have contact with patients or residents of a provider shall:
(1) Sign a consent form as required by section 43.540, RSMo, so the provider may request a criminal records review;
(2) Disclose the applicant's criminal history. For the purposes of this subdivision "criminal history" includes any conviction or a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor or felony charge and shall include any suspended imposition of sentence, any suspended execution of sentence or any period of probation or parole; and
(3) Disclose if the applicant is listed on the employee disqualification list as provided in section 660.315.
6. An applicant who knowingly fails to disclose his or her criminal history as required in subsection 5 of this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. A provider is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the provider knowingly hires or retains a person to have contact with patients or residents and the person has been convicted of, pled guilty to or nolo contendere in this state or any other state or has been found guilty of a crime, which if committed in Missouri would be a class A or B felony violation of chapter 565, 566 or 569, RSMo, or any violation of subsection 3 of section 198.070, RSMo, or section 568.020, RSMo.
7. Any in-home services provider agency or home health agency shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such agency knowingly employs a person to provide in-home services or home health services to any in-home services client or home health patient and such person either refuses to register with the family care safety registry or is listed on any of the background check lists in the family care safety registry pursuant to sections 210.900 to 210.937, RSMo.
[7.] 8. The highway patrol shall examine whether protocols can be developed to allow a provider to request a statewide fingerprint criminal records review check through local law enforcement agencies.
[8.] 9. A provider may use a private investigatory agency rather than the highway patrol to do a criminal history records review check, and alternatively, the applicant pays the private investigatory agency such fees as the provider and such agency shall agree.
[9.] 10. Except for the hiring restriction based on the department of health and senior services employee disqualification list established pursuant to section 660.315, the department of health and senior services shall promulgate rules and regulations to waive the hiring restrictions pursuant to this section for good cause. For purposes of this section, "good cause" means the department has made a determination by examining the employee's prior work history and other relevant factors that such employee does not present a risk to the health or safety of residents.
Section B. Because immediate action is necessary to clarify the laws regarding disqualification of employees of in-home service provider agencies and in-home health care agencies, section A of this act is deemed necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace and safety, and is hereby declared to be an emergency act within the meaning of the constitution, and section A of this act shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and approval.
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