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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 5, 2021 11:14 AM
From: Representative Frank Burns and Rep. Jeanne McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: Death Reporting Requirements for Care Facilities
Nursing homes, assisted living residences and personal care homes provide much needed care to our state’s most vulnerable older adults. Unfortunately, we saw just how vulnerable these residents are as the coronavirus ripped through elder care facilities around the state over the past year.  With questions arising over COVID-related deaths, as well as cases involving neglect and abuse, I believe we need greater local oversight when it comes to deaths that occur in these facilities.
Currently, facilities only contact their county coroner for a death that is suspicious, such as the result of homicide or accident, not deaths that may have occurred from natural causes or a progressive disease. This can lead to subjective decision-making in determining deaths to report that may have actually been a result of inadequate care – something that bad actors in these facilities might try to hide in order to prevent further investigation.

As such, we will be introducing two bills that will require nursing homes, assisted living residences and personal cares homes to report all deaths, regardless of cause, to their county coroner. The county coroner would then determine if a formal investigation is warranted after discussing the cause of death and the medical history of the patient with the facility.

Please join us in supporting this legislation to better protect the health and safety of all residents of these facilities.

Document #1

Introduced as HB1636

Description: Bill #1
This bill would amend the Health Care Facilities Act to require nursing homes to report to their county coroner the death of any resident of their facility.

Document #2

Introduced as HB1637

Description: Bill #2
This bill would amend the Human Services Code to require personal care homes and assisted living residences to report to their county coroner the death of any resident of their facility.