Bill Text: NY S01417 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Creates a statewide central register of elder abuse and maltreatment reports and the elder justice coordinating council; mandates reporting by certain persons; facilitates interagency planning and reviews specific agency initiatives for their impact on the reporting and investigation of elder abuse and maltreatment in the state.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 4-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-14 - REFERRED TO AGING [S01417 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S01417-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          1417
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 14, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sens.  SERINO, CARLUCCI, HELMING, JACOBS, LITTLE -- read
          twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
          Committee on Aging
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  social  services  law and the executive law, in
          relation to creating a statewide central register of elder  abuse  and
          maltreatment reports and the elder justice coordinating council
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The social services law is amended by adding a new  article
     2  9-C to read as follows:
     3                                 ARTICLE 9-C
     4     STATEWIDE CENTRAL REGISTER OF ELDER ABUSE AND MALTREATMENT REPORTS
     5  Section 473-m. Definitions.
     6          473-n. Statewide  central  register of elder abuse and maltreat-
     7                   ment reports.
     8          473-o. Mandated reporters.
     9          473-p. Penalties for failure to report.
    10          473-q. Immunity from liability.
    11    § 473-m. Definitions. For the purposes of this article:
    12    1. "Abused or maltreated elder" means any resident of New  York  state
    13  who  is  sixty years of age or older and who is alleged to be the victim
    14  of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse,  passive  or  self-ne-
    15  glect,  or  financial  exploitation,  as  defined  in subdivision six of
    16  section four hundred seventy-three of this chapter.
    17    2. "Caregiver" means any person who has assumed full  or  intermittent
    18  responsibility  for  the care or custody of an elderly adult, whether or
    19  not he or she receives compensation.
    20    § 473-n. Statewide central register of elder  abuse  and  maltreatment
    21  reports.  1. Subject to appropriation, there shall be established in the
    22  office  of  children and family services a statewide central register of
    23  elder abuse and maltreatment reports made pursuant to this article.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07315-01-9

        S. 1417                             2
     1    2. The central register created by this section shall:
     2    (a)  be  capable  of receiving telephone calls alleging elder abuse or
     3  maltreatment and of immediately identifying prior reports of elder abuse
     4  or maltreatment and capable of monitoring the provision of adult protec-
     5  tive services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To  effectuate
     6  this  purpose,  there  shall  be a single statewide telephone number, in
     7  addition  to  other  special  express  reporting  procedures,  that  all
     8  persons,  whether  mandated by the law or not, may use to make telephone
     9  calls alleging elder abuse or  maltreatment  and  that  all  persons  so
    10  authorized  may  use  for  determining the existence of prior reports in
    11  order to evaluate the condition of the elder;
    12    (b) immediately transmit orally or electronically  by  the  office  of
    13  children and family services to the appropriate adult protective service
    14  for  investigation,  any  allegations  contained in such telephone calls
    15  when they could  reasonably  constitute  a  report  of  elder  abuse  or
    16  maltreatment, including such allegations and any previous reports to the
    17  central  registry involving the subject of such report or elder named in
    18  such report, and any previous reports containing  allegations  of  elder
    19  abuse  and  maltreatment  alleged to have occurred in other counties and
    20  districts in New York state;
    21    (c) immediately transmit orally or electronically to  the  appropriate
    22  local  adult  protective  service  for investigation, any telephone call
    23  made by a person required to report cases of suspected  elder  abuse  or
    24  maltreatment  pursuant  to this article containing allegations, which if
    25  true would constitute elder abuse or maltreatment;
    26    (d) convey by the most expedient means available  to  the  appropriate
    27  law  enforcement  agency,  district  attorney,  or other public official
    28  empowered to  provide  necessary  aid  or  assistance,  any  information
    29  contained  in  a  telephone call to the register where the circumstances
    30  despite not constituting abuse or maltreatment as defined in this  arti-
    31  cle, may constitute a crime or an immediate threat to the elder's health
    32  or safety;
    33    (e)  maintain  records including, but not limited to: all the informa-
    34  tion in the written report; a record of the  final  disposition  of  the
    35  report;  information  received  from  the  local social services agency,
    36  including services offered and services accepted, the names and  identi-
    37  fying  data, dates and circumstances of any person requesting or receiv-
    38  ing information from the register; and any other information  which  the
    39  commissioner  believes  might  be  helpful  in  the  furtherance  of the
    40  purposes of this article; and
    41    (f) maintain  the  confidentiality  of  reports  written,  information
    42  obtained, or photographs taken concerning such reports in the possession
    43  of  the office or local departments, except for law enforcement agencies
    44  and others deemed by the commissioner of  the  office  of  children  and
    45  family services to have a relevant interest in the materials given their
    46  legal or official status.
    47    §  473-o.  Mandated  reporters. 1. The following persons and officials
    48  are required to report or cause a report  to  be  made  to  the  central
    49  registry under section four hundred seventy-three-n of this article when
    50  they  have  reasonable  cause  to  suspect that an elderly person coming
    51  before them in their professional or official capacity is an  abused  or
    52  maltreated elder; or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that the
    53  individual  is an abused or maltreated elder when the spouse, caregiver,
    54  or guardian or other person legally  responsible  for  the  elder  comes
    55  before  them  in their professional or official capacity and states from
    56  personal knowledge facts, conditions or circumstances which, if correct,

        S. 1417                             3
     1  would render the elder an abused or maltreated elder:    any  physician;
     2  registered  physician  assistant; surgeon; medical examiner; pharmacist;
     3  coroner; dentist; dental hygienist; osteopath;  optometrist;  chiroprac-
     4  tor;  podiatrist;  resident;  intern;  psychologist;  registered  nurse;
     5  social worker; emergency medical technician; mental health professional;
     6  licensed marriage and family therapist; licensed mental  health  counse-
     7  lor; licensed psychoanalyst; licensed behavior analyst; hospital person-
     8  nel  engaged  in  admission,  examination, care or treatment of persons;
     9  substance abuse counselor; alcoholism  counselor;  all  persons  creden-
    10  tialed  by  the  office  of  alcoholism  and  substance  abuse services;
    11  licensed master social worker;  licensed  clinical  social  worker;  any
    12  administrator,  employee  or  volunteer in a nursing home or residential
    13  healthcare facility that is  licensed,  certified  or  operated  by  the
    14  department  of  health;  any  employee of a personal care or home health
    15  aide program; any person or employee of  any  corporation,  partnership,
    16  organization  or other entity which is under contract to provide patient
    17  care services in a residential health care facility; an  employee  of  a
    18  county adult protective services agency; police officer; district attor-
    19  ney or assistant district attorney; peace officer; investigator employed
    20  in the office of a district attorney; or other law enforcement official;
    21  an  attorney  so long as it does not violate the New York state rules of
    22  professional conduct.
    23    2. Any person who is required  to  investigate  reports  of  abuse  or
    24  maltreatment  and who has reasonable cause to suspect that a victim died
    25  as a result of maltreatment or abuse shall immediately report the suspi-
    26  cion to the central registry which shall convey the report  through  the
    27  most  expedient  means available to the appropriate medical examiner and
    28  law enforcement authorities, notwithstanding the existence  of  a  death
    29  certificate signed by a practicing physician. The medical examiner shall
    30  accept the report for investigation and shall report the findings of the
    31  investigation,  in  writing, to the appropriate law enforcement authori-
    32  ties.
    33    3. Reports of suspected elder abuse shall be made immediately by tele-
    34  phone or by telephone facsimile on a form supplied by  the  commissioner
    35  of  the  office of children and family services to the central registry.
    36  Such telephone reports shall be followed by a report in  writing  within
    37  twenty-four hours after such oral report.
    38    §  473-p. Penalties for failure to report. Any person required by this
    39  article to report a cause of suspected elder abuse or  maltreatment  who
    40  willfully  fails  to do so shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Any
    41  person required by this article to report  a  case  of  suspected  elder
    42  abuse  or  maltreatment who knowingly and willfully fails to do so shall
    43  be civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure.
    44    § 473-q. Immunity from liability. Any person who in good faith makes a
    45  report of allegations of elder abuse or maltreatment as required by this
    46  title, including those who in good faith make  a  report  to  the  wrong
    47  recipient,  shall  have immunity from criminal liability which otherwise
    48  result by reason of such actions. Any person who reasonably and in  good
    49  faith  makes  a  report of allegations of elder abuse or maltreatment as
    50  required by this title, shall have immunity from civil  liability  which
    51  might otherwise result by reason of such actions.
    52    §  2.  The executive law is amended by adding a new article 28 to read
    53  as follows:
    54                                 ARTICLE 28
    55                     ELDER JUSTICE COORDINATING COUNCIL
    56  Section 830. Elder justice coordinating council.

        S. 1417                             4
     1    § 830. Elder justice coordinating council. 1. The elder justice  coor-
     2  dinating  council  is  hereby created within the executive department to
     3  facilitate interagency planning and review specific  agency  initiatives
     4  for  their  impact on the reporting and investigation of elder abuse and
     5  maltreatment  in  the  state,  and  to  provide a forum for concerns and
     6  discussion related to the formation  of  a  comprehensive  state  policy
     7  relating  to  elder  abuse  and maltreatment. The council shall have and
     8  exercise the functions, powers, and duties provided by this article  and
     9  any other provision of law.
    10    2.  The  council  shall be comprised of twenty-one members as follows:
    11  the commissioner of the office of  children  and  family  services,  the
    12  director  of  the office for the aging, the commissioner of the division
    13  of criminal justice services, the  commissioner  of  the  department  of
    14  health,  and  the  commissioner  of  the office of alcohol and substance
    15  abuse services, and a representative from the  department  of  law,  who
    16  shall  serve  ex officio and who may designate representatives to act on
    17  their behalf. The governor shall appoint seven other members with exper-
    18  tise in elder abuse and maltreatment issues, at least two of whom  shall
    19  represent  not-for-profit  corporations  whose  primary  purpose  is  to
    20  provide access to  experts  for  the  development  of  elder  abuse  and
    21  maltreatment  services  and  intervention,  and at least two of whom who
    22  shall represent law enforcement agencies  that  have  expertise  in  the
    23  investigation  and  prosecution  of  elder  abuse or maltreatment. Eight
    24  members shall be appointed by the governor on the recommendation of  the
    25  legislative  leaders  as  follows: the temporary president of the senate
    26  and the speaker of the assembly shall each recommend  three  members  to
    27  the council. One of the three members recommended by the temporary pres-
    28  ident and one of the three members recommended by the speaker shall be a
    29  family  member, caregiver, or advocate of a person who has suffered from
    30  elder abuse or maltreatment. One member shall be appointed on the recom-
    31  mendation of the minority leader of the senate and one member  shall  be
    32  appointed  on the recommendation of the minority leader of the assembly.
    33  The commissioner of the office of children and family services  and  the
    34  director  of  the  office  for  the  aging  shall  serve, ex officio, as
    35  co-chairs of the council. Administrative duties shall be  the  responsi-
    36  bility  of  the  office.    The  members of the council shall receive no
    37  compensation for their services.
    38    3. Within one year after the effective date of this section the  coun-
    39  cil  shall  establish  community  forums  to  gain input from consumers,
    40  providers, key law enforcement agencies, medical professionals and other
    41  interested parties to provide input and direction on  developing  a  New
    42  York  state plan for the identification, investigation, and intervention
    43  into cases of elder abuse and maltreatment. A community forum  shall  be
    44  established  in each of the following regions of the state: Long Island,
    45  New York city, Northern Metropolitan New York,  Northwestern  New  York,
    46  Utica  area,  central  New  York,  Rochester area, and western New York.
    47  Such state plan shall include but not be limited to recommendations  for
    48  the  implementation of a statewide central registry for the reporting of
    49  suspected elder abuse and maltreatment, recommendations for  the  imple-
    50  mentation  of mandated reporting guidelines across the state, best prac-
    51  tices in identifying elder abuse and maltreatment  signs  and  symptoms,
    52  the  identification  of  best practices for law enforcement officials in
    53  the identification, investigation, and prosecution of  these  cases,  an
    54  accounting  of  the incidence of these cases statewide, in addition to a
    55  community assessment of the strengths and gaps in  community  and  state

        S. 1417                             5
     1  support  services, in order to coordinate services among various systems
     2  and agencies, and any other recommendations.
     3    4. The council shall meet quarterly or more frequently if its business
     4  shall  require. The community forums in the first year of implementation
     5  count as a formal meeting of the council.   The members of  the  council
     6  shall  receive  no  compensation  but shall be reimbursed for travel and
     7  other expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the  performance  of
     8  their  duties. The council shall provide reports to the governor and the
     9  legislature on or before October first,  two  thousand  twenty,  and  by
    10  October first of every other year thereafter. Such reports shall include
    11  recommendations  for  state policy relating to elder abuse and maltreat-
    12  ment and a review of services initiated and coordinated among public and
    13  private agencies to meet the needs of victims.
    14    5. The office of children and family services shall serve as the focal
    15  point to develop comprehensive  coordinated  responses  of  the  various
    16  state and local agencies with regard to elder abuse and maltreatment and
    17  thus  to ensure timely and appropriate responses to reports and investi-
    18  gations.
    19    6. The office of children and family services,  in  consultation  with
    20  the  council, shall utilize data and information compiled and maintained
    21  pursuant to this article to coordinate state funded research efforts  to
    22  ensure  the  most  efficient  use of funds available for the purposes of
    23  this article.
    24    § 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2019; provided that section
    25  one of this act shall take effect January 1, 2021.
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