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This bill would give authority to the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to review the commission’s methods for issuing informational letters, policy updates, policy clarifications, and other materials to certain long-term care facilities and develop a more efficient way to issue the materials.
The bill would also give the commission authority to assess an administrative penalty against a person who violate rules under the chapter, and requires the commission to develop a system to record the scope and severity of each violation, as well as give the commission authority over the issuance and renewal of licenses, which would expire on the third anniversary of the date of issuance. The bill would give the commission the right to collect administrative penalties from institutions/facilities that have a pattern of violations that result in actual harm, result in harm that is pervasive, or constitutes the potential for actual harm that is pervasive throughout the services provided by the institution. The penalty would not be able to exceed $5,000 for each violation that results in actual harm or constitutes an immediate threat to the health and safety of a resident. The bill would require the commission to inspect each assisted living facility every two years following the initial inspection.
On the one hand this would increase government by adding to regulations imposed on affected facilities and increasing administrative fines.
On the other hand we note that many people in these facilities are funded through public programs. Many of the people, regardless of whether they are privately or publicly funded are elderly, in failing health, and unable to stand up for themselves and assert their rights in the face of maltreatment or abuse. People in this position are almost exclusively at the mercy of their caregivers and unfortunately many have been abused. With those factors in consideration, this bill supports the individual liberty of the patients in long term care facilities.
Due to the conflict between our limited government and individual liberty principles we remain neutral.