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PRINTER'S NO. 1126
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
819
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MENSCH, GORDNER, BROWNE, YAW, BAKER, K. WARD,
KILLION, VOGEL, J. WARD, SCHWANK, TARTAGLIONE, FONTANA,
BREWSTER, BOSCOLA, YUDICHAK, HAYWOOD, MUTH, LEACH AND BLAKE,
AUGUST 7, 2019
REFERRED TO AGING AND YOUTH, AUGUST 7, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 6, 1987 (P.L.381, No.79), entitled
"An act relating to the protection of the abused, neglected,
exploited or abandoned elderly; establishing a uniform
Statewide reporting and investigative system for suspected
abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of the elderly;
providing protective services; providing for funding; and
making repeals," extensively revising provisions on older
adults protective services relating to preliminary
provisions, administration, criminal history for employees,
reporting suspected abuse by employees and miscellaneous
provisions; and imposing penalties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7 and 51 of the act of
November 6, 1987 (P.L.381, No.79), known as the Older Adults
Protective Services Act, are repealed:
[CHAPTER 1
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Section 101. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Older Adults
Protective Services Act.
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Section 102. Legislative policy.
It is declared the policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
that older adults who lack the capacity to protect themselves
and are at imminent risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation or
abandonment shall have access to and be provided with services
necessary to protect their health, safety and welfare. It is not
the purpose of this act to place restrictions upon the personal
liberty of incapacitated older adults, but this act should be
liberally construed to assure the availability of protective
services to all older adults in need of them. Such services
shall safeguard the rights of incapacitated older adults while
protecting them from abuse, neglect, exploitation and
abandonment. It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide
for the detection and reduction, correction or elimination of
abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment, and to establish a
program of protective services for older adults in need of them.
Section 103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Abandonment." The desertion of an older adult by a
caretaker.
"Abuse." The occurrence of one or more of the following
acts:
(1) The infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement,
intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain
or mental anguish.
(2) The willful deprivation by a caretaker of goods or
services which are necessary to maintain physical or mental
health.
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(3) Sexual harassment, rape or abuse, as defined in the
act of October 7, 1976 (P.L.1090, No.218), known as the
Protection From Abuse Act.
No older adult shall be found to be abused solely on the grounds
of environmental factors which are beyond the control of the
older adult or the caretaker, such as inadequate housing,
furnishings, income, clothing or medical care.
"Administrator." The person responsible for the
administration of a facility. The term includes a person
responsible for employment decisions or an independent
contractor.
"Agency." The local provider of protective services, which
is the area agency on aging or the agency designated by the area
agency on aging to provide protective services in the area
agency's planning and service area.
"Care." Services provided to meet a person's need for
personal care or health care. Services may include homemaker
services, assistance with activities of daily living, physical
therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social
services, home-care aide services, companion-care services,
private duty nursing services, respiratory therapy, intravenous
therapy, in-home dialysis and durable medical equipment
services, which are routinely provided unsupervised and which
require interaction with the care-dependent person. The term
does not include durable medical equipment delivery.
"Care-dependent individual." An adult who, due to physical
or cognitive disability or impairment, requires assistance to
meet needs for food, shelter, clothing, personal care or health
care.
"Caretaker." An individual or institution that has assumed
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the responsibility for the provision of care needed to maintain
the physical or mental health of an older adult. This
responsibility may arise voluntarily, by contract, by receipt of
payment for care, as a result of family relationship, or by
order of a court of competent jurisdiction. It is not the intent
of this act to impose responsibility on any individual if such
responsibility would not otherwise exist in law.
"Client assessment." Social, physical and psychological
findings along with a description of the person's current
resources and needs.
"Court." A court of common pleas or a district magistrate
court, where applicable.
"Department." The Department of Aging of the Commonwealth.
"Employee." An individual who is employed by a facility. The
term includes contract employees who have direct contact with
residents or unsupervised access to their personal living
quarters. The term includes any person who is employed or who
enters into a contractual relationship to provide care to a
care-dependent individual for monetary consideration in the
individual's place of residence.
"Exploitation." An act or course of conduct by a caretaker
or other person against an older adult or an older adult's
resources, without the informed consent of the older adult or
with consent obtained through misrepresentation, coercion or
threats of force, that results in monetary, personal or other
benefit, gain or profit for the perpetrator or monetary or
personal loss to the older adult.
"Facility." Any of the following:
(1) A domiciliary care home as defined in section 2202-A
of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The
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Administrative Code of 1929.
(2) A home health care agency.
(3) A long-term care nursing facility as defined in
section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48),
known as the Health Care Facilities Act.
(4) An older adult daily living center as defined in
section 2 of the act of July 11, 1990 (P.L.499, No.118),
known as the Older Adult Daily Living Centers Licensing Act.
(5) A personal care home as defined in section 1001 of
the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public
Welfare Code.
"Home health care agency." Any of the following:
(1) A home health care organization or agency licensed
by the Department of Health.
(2) A public or private agency or organization, or part
of an agency or organization, which provides care to a care-
dependent individual in the individual's place of residence.
"Intimidation." An act or omission by any person or entity
toward another person which is intended to, or with knowledge
that the act or omission will, obstruct, impede, impair, prevent
or interfere with the administration of this act or any law
intended to protect older adults from mistreatment.
"Law enforcement official." Any of the following:
(1) A police officer of a municipality.
(2) A district attorney.
(3) The Pennsylvania State Police.
"Neglect." The failure to provide for oneself or the failure
of a caretaker to provide goods or services essential to avoid a
clear and serious threat to physical or mental health. No older
adult who does not consent to the provision of protective
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services shall be found to be neglected solely on the grounds of
environmental factors which are beyond the control of the older
adult or the caretaker, such as inadequate housing, furnishings,
income, clothing or medical care.
"Older adult." A person within the jurisdiction of the
Commonwealth who is 60 years of age or older.
"Older adult in need of protective services." An
incapacitated older adult who is unable to perform or obtain
services that are necessary to maintain physical or mental
health, for whom there is no responsible caretaker and who is at
imminent risk of danger to his person or property.
"Protective services." Those activities, resources and
supports provided to older adults under this act to detect,
prevent, reduce or eliminate abuse, neglect, exploitation and
abandonment.
"Protective setting." A setting chosen by the agency where
services can be provided in the least restrictive environment to
protect the physical and mental well-being of the older adult.
"Recipient." An individual who receives care, services or
treatment in or from a facility.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Aging of the Commonwealth.
"Serious bodily injury." Injury which creates a substantial
risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or
protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body member
or organ.
"Serious physical injury." An injury that:
(1) causes a person severe pain; or
(2) significantly impairs a person's physical
functioning, either temporarily or permanently.
"Service plan." A written plan developed by the agency on
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the basis of comprehensive assessment of a client's need which
describes identified needs, goals to be achieved and specific
services to support goal attainment, with regular follow-up and
predetermined reassessment of client progress. Specific services
to support goal attainment may include, but is not limited to,
homemaker services, home-delivered meals, attendant care, other
in-home services, emergency shelter or food, legal aid services,
transportation and other such services. Service plans are
cooperatively developed by the agency staff, the client or the
client's appointed guardian, and other family members when
appropriate. The plan shall also address, where applicable,
special needs of other members of the household unit as they may
affect the older adult's need for protective services.
"Sexual abuse." Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly
causing or attempting to cause rape, involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault,
aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest.
CHAPTER 3
ADMINISTRATION
Section 301. Duties of department and area agencies on aging.
(a) Public information and interdepartmental consultation.--
The department shall conduct an ongoing campaign designed to
inform and educate older adults, professionals and the general
public about the need for an availability of protective services
under this chapter. The department shall consult with other
departments of the Commonwealth on the design and implementation
of the ongoing public awareness campaign. The department shall
also consider the concerns of area agencies on aging and the
entities identified by them under subsection (c).
(b) Staff training.--The department shall establish minimum
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standards of training and experience which protective services
providers funded by the department shall be required to follow
in the selection and assignment of staff for the provision of
protective services.
(c) Protective services plans.--Each area agency on aging
shall include a protective services plan as part of its annual
plan. The plan shall describe the local implementation of this
chapter, including the organization, staffing, mode of
operations and financing of protective services, as well as the
provisions made for purchase of services, interagency relations,
interagency agreements, service referral mechanisms and locus of
responsibility for cases with multiservice agency needs. The
description of the methods that will be used by the agency, its
designees and its service providers to assure the privacy of
older adults receiving services and the confidentiality of all
records shall be established by the department. The department
shall establish a schedule for the submission and approval of
the plans. The plan shall include a list of all entities,
whether public or private, that have been identified by the area
agency on aging as having substantial contact with potential
victims or perpetrators of abuse, neglect, exploitation and
abandonment. This list shall be submitted to the department for
purposes of the public information campaign under subsection
(a).
Section 302. Reporting; protection from retaliation; immunity.
(a) Reporting.--Any person having reasonable cause to
believe that an older adult is in need of protective services
may report such information to the agency which is the local
provider of protective services. Where applicable, reports shall
comply with the provisions of Chapter 7.
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(b) Receiving reports.--The agency shall be capable of
receiving reports of older adults in need of protective services
24 hours a day, seven days a week (including holidays). This
capability may include the use of a local emergency response
system or a crisis intervention agency, provided that access can
be made to a protective services caseworker in appropriate
emergency situations as set forth in regulations promulgated by
the department. All reports received orally under this section
shall be reduced to writing immediately by the person who
receives the report.
(c) Retaliatory action; penalty.--Any person making a report
or cooperating with the agency, including providing testimony in
any administrative or judicial proceeding, and the victim shall
be free from any discriminatory, retaliatory or disciplinary
action by an employer or by any other person or entity. Any
person who violates this subsection is subject to a civil
lawsuit by the reporter or the victim wherein the reporter or
victim shall recover treble compensatory damages, compensatory
and punitive damages or $5,000, whichever is greater.
(c.1) Intimidation; penalty.--Any person, including the
victim, with knowledge sufficient to justify making a report or
cooperating with the agency, including possibly providing
testimony in any administrative or judicial proceeding, shall be
free from any intimidation by an employer or by any other person
or entity. Any person who violates this subsection is subject to
civil lawsuit by the person intimidated or the victim wherein
the person intimidated or the victim shall recover treble
compensatory damages, compensatory and punitive damages or
$5,000, whichever is greater.
(d) Immunity.--Any person participating in the making of a
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report or who provides testimony in any administrative or
judicial proceeding arising out of a report shall be immune from
any civil or criminal liability on account of the report or
testimony unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious
purpose. This immunity shall not extend to liability for acts of
abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, even if such acts
are the subject of the report or testimony.
Section 303. Investigations of reports of need for protective
services.
(a) Investigation.--It shall be the agency's responsibility
to provide for an investigation of each report made under
section 302. The investigation shall be initiated within 72
hours after the receipt of the report and shall be carried out
under regulations issued by the department. These regulations
shall provide for the methods of conducting investigations under
this section and shall assure that steps are taken to avoid any
conflict of interest between the investigator and service
delivery functions. Reports and investigations under this
section shall comply with Chapter 7, where applicable.
(b) Investigation involving licensed facilities.--Any report
concerning older adults residing in a State-licensed facility
shall be investigated under procedures developed by the
department in consultation with the State agency licensing such
facility. If the report concerns a resident of a State-licensed
facility for whom the area agency on aging provides ombudsman
services, the ombudsman of the area agency on aging must be
notified.
(c) Unsubstantiated reports.--If, after investigation by the
agency, the report is unsubstantiated, the case shall be closed
and all information identifying the reporter and the alleged
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abuser shall be immediately deleted from all records. For
purposes of substantiating a pattern of abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment, the name of the alleged victim and
any information describing the alleged act of abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment may be maintained for a period of
six months under procedures established by the department.
(d) Substantiated reports.--If the report is substantiated
by the agency, or if the client assessment is necessary in order
to determine whether or not the report is substantiated, the
agency shall provide for a timely client assessment if the older
adult consents to an assessment. Upon completion of the
assessment, written findings shall be prepared which shall
include recommended action. This service plan shall provide for
the least restrictive alternative, encouraging client self-
determination and continuity of care. The service plan shall be
in writing and shall include a recommended course of action,
which may include the pursuit of civil or criminal remedies. If
an older adult found to be in need of protective services does
not consent to a client assessment or the development of a
service plan, the agency may apply to the case the provisions of
section 307.
Section 304. Provision of services; access to records and
persons.
(a) Availability of protective services.--The agency shall
offer protective services under any of the following conditions:
(1) An older adult requests such services.
(2) Another interested person requests such services on
behalf of an older adult.
(3) If, after investigation of a report, the agency
determines the older adult is in need of such services.
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(b) Consent by request.--Except as provided in section 307,
an individual shall receive protective services voluntarily. In
no event may protective services be provided under this chapter
to any person who does not consent to such services or who,
having consented, withdraws such consent, unless such services
are ordered by a court, requested by a guardian of the older
adult or provided under section 307. Nothing in this chapter
shall prevent the agency from petitioning for the appointment of
a guardian pursuant to Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes (relating to decedents, estates and fiduciaries).
(c) Interference with services.--If any person interferes
with the provision of services or interferes with the right of
an older adult to consent to provision of services, the agency
may petition the court for an order enjoining such interference.
(d) Access to records.--The agency shall have access to all
records relevant to:
(1) Investigations of reports under section 303.
(2) Assessment of client need.
(3) Service planning when an older adult's need for
protective services has been or is being established.
(4) The delivery of services arranged for under the
service plan developed by the agency to respond to an older
adult's assessed need for specific services.
(e) Access to persons.--The agency shall have access to
older persons who have been reported to be in need of protective
services in order to:
(1) Investigate reports under section 303 and Chapter 7.
(2) Assess client need and develop a service plan for
addressing needs determined.
(3) Provide for the delivery of services by the agency
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or other service provider arranged for under the service plan
developed by the agency.
(f) Denial of access to persons.--If the agency is denied
access to an older adult reported to be in need of protective
services and access is necessary to complete the investigation
or the client assessment and service plan, or the delivery of
needed services in order to prevent further abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment of the older adult reported to be in
need of protective services, the agency may petition the court
for an order to require the appropriate access when either of
the following conditions apply:
(1) The caretaker or a third party has interfered with
the completion of the investigation or the client assessment
and service plan or the delivery of services.
(2) The agency can demonstrate that the older adult
reported to be in need of protective services is denying
access because of coercion, extortion or justifiable fear of
future abuse, neglect, or exploitation or abandonment.
(g) Access by consent.--The agency's access to confidential
records held by other agencies or individuals and the agency's
access to an older adult reported to be in need of protective
services shall require the consent of the older adult or a
court-appointed guardian except as provided for under this
section or section 307.
(h) Denial of access to records.--If the agency is denied
access to records necessary for the completion of a proper
investigation of a report or a client assessment and service
plan, or the delivery of needed services in order to prevent
further abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of the older
adult reported to be in need of protective services, the agency
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may petition the court of common pleas for an order requiring
the appropriate access when either of the following conditions
apply:
(1) The older adult has provided written consent for any
confidential records to be disclosed and the keeper of the
records denies access.
(2) The agency can demonstrate that the older adult is
denying access to records because of incompetence, coercion,
extortion or justifiable fear of future abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment.
Section 305. Immunity from civil and criminal liability.
In the absence of willful misconduct or gross negligence, the
agency, the director, employees of the agency, protective
services workers or employees of the department shall not be
civilly or criminally liable for any decision or action or
resulting consequence of decisions or action when acting under
and according to the provisions of this chapter.
Section 306. Confidentiality of records.
(a) General rule.--Information contained in reports, records
of investigation, client assessment and service plans shall be
considered confidential and shall be maintained under
regulations promulgated by the department to safeguard
confidentiality. Except as provided below, this information
shall not be disclosed to anyone outside the agency other than
to a court of competent jurisdiction or pursuant to a court
order.
(b) Limited access to the agency's protective services
records.--
(1) In the event that an investigation by the agency
results in a report of criminal conduct, law enforcement
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officials shall have access to all relevant records
maintained by the agency or the department.
(2) In arranging specific services to carry out service
plans, the agency may disclose to appropriate service
providers such information as may be necessary to initiate
the delivery of services.
(3) A subject of a report made under section 302 may
receive, upon written request, all information contained in
the report except that prohibited from being disclosed by
paragraph (4).
(4) The release of information that would identify the
person who made a report of suspected abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment or person who cooperated in a
subsequent investigation, is hereby prohibited unless the
secretary can determine that such a release will not be
detrimental to the safety of such person.
(5) When the department is involved in the hearing of an
appeal by a subject of a report made under section 302, the
appropriate department staff shall have access to all
information in the report record relevant to the appeal.
(6) For the purposes of monitoring agency performance,
appropriate staff of the department may access agency
protective services records.
Section 307. Involuntary intervention by emergency court order.
(a) Emergency petition.--Where there was clear and
convincing evidence that if protective services are not
provided, the person to be protected is at imminent risk of
death or serious physical harm, the agency may petition the
court for an emergency order to provide the necessary services.
The courts of common pleas of each judicial district shall
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ensure that a judge or district justice is available on a 24-
hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year basis to accept and decide on
petitions for an emergency court order under this section
whenever the agency determines that a delay until normal court
hours would significantly increase the danger the older adult
faces.
(b) Limited order.--The court, after finding clear and
convincing evidence of the need for an emergency order, shall
order only such services as are necessary to remove the
conditions creating the established need.
(c) Right to counsel.--In order to protect the rights of an
older adult for whom protective services are being ordered, an
emergency court order under this section shall provide that the
older adult has the right to legal counsel. If the older adult
is unable to provide for counsel, such counsel shall be
appointed by the court.
(d) Forcible entry.--Where it is necessary to forcibly enter
premises after obtaining a court order, a peace officer may do
so, accompanied by a representative of the agency.
(e) Health and safety requirements.--The agency shall take
reasonable steps to assure that while the person is receiving
services under an emergency court order, the health and safety
needs of any of the person's dependents are met and that
personal property and the dwelling the person occupies are
secure.
(f) Exclusion of remedy.--Nothing in this chapter shall be
interpreted to deny any older adult access to the emergency
medical services or police protection that would be provided to
anyone, regardless of age, in similar circumstances.
Section 308. Individual rights.
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(a) Rights of protective services clients.--The agency shall
observe the following minimum requirements to safeguard the
rights of an older adult who is reported to be in need of
protective services:
(1) The agency shall discreetly notify the older person
during the investigation that a report has been made and
shall provide the person with a brief summary of the nature
of the report.
(2) As provided under section 306(b)(3), the older adult
may request, and the agency shall provide, additional
information contained in the report.
(3) Any denial of services by the department or an
authorized agency under this chapter may be appealed
according to the provisions of the rules and regulations
issued by the department under Article XXII-A of the act of
April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative
Code of 1929.
(4) Nothing in this act shall limit the right of any
older person to file a petition pursuant to the act of
October 7, 1976 (P.L.1090, No.218), known as the Protection
From Abuse Act.
(b) Rights of alleged abusers.--An individual who is alleged
in a protective services report to be a perpetrator of the
abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of an older adult
shall be entitled to the following if the report is
substantiated by the agency:
(1) Such an individual shall be notified by the agency
at the conclusion of the investigation of the report that
allegations have been made and shall be given a brief summary
of the allegations.
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(2) As provided under section 306(b)(3), the alleged
perpetrator may request, and the agency shall provide,
additional information contained in the report.
(3) An alleged perpetrator is entitled to file an appeal
with the department under 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to
general rules of administrative practice and procedure) to
challenge the agency's finding resulting from the
investigation of a report made under section 303.
Section 309. Financial obligations; liabilities and payments.
All individuals receiving services and all agencies providing
services under this chapter shall comply with the following
provisions regarding liability for the payment of services:
(1) Funding to provide or make available protective
services under this chapter shall not supplant any public and
private entitlements or resources for which persons receiving
protective services under this chapter are or may be
eligible, and shall not be available until such persons have
exhausted their eligibility and receipt of benefits under
said public and private entitlements or resources.
(2) Funding available to local protective services
agencies under this chapter may be used to cover the costs of
activities including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) Administering protective services plans required
under section 301(c).
(ii) Receiving and maintaining records of reports of
abuse under section 302.
(iii) Conducting investigations of reported abuse
under section 303.
(iv) Carrying out client assessments and developing
service plans under section 303.
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(v) Petitioning the court under sections 304 and
307.
(vi) Providing emergency involuntary intervention
under section 307.
(vii) Arranging for available services needed to
carry out service plans, which may include, as
appropriate, arranging for services for other household
members in order to reduce, correct or eliminate abuse,
neglect, exploitation or abandonment of an older adult.
(viii) Purchasing, on a temporary basis, services
determined by a service plan to be necessary to reduce,
correct or eliminate abuse, neglect, exploitation or
abandonment of an older adult when such services are not
available within the existing resources of the agency or
other appropriate provider. Purchase of services under
this provision is limited to a 30-day period which may be
renewed with adequate justification under regulations
promulgated by the department.
(3) The obligation of the Commonwealth and the counties
to provide funds to the department or any agency for services
provided pursuant to this chapter shall be entirely
discharged by the appropriations made to the department or an
agency. Provided that the agency has met its responsibility
under the law, no action at law or equity shall be instituted
in any court to require the department, any agency, county or
the Commonwealth to provide benefits or services under this
chapter for which appropriations from the Commonwealth or
counties are not available.
(4) Protective services clients receiving the same
services provided to others under an agency service plan
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shall not be required to pay a fee for any services not
subject to cost sharing for other older adults.
Section 310. Regulations; enforcement.
(a) Promulgation of regulations.--The department shall
promulgate the rules and regulations to carry out this chapter
and shall be responsible for presenting to the General Assembly
annually a report on the program and services performed.
(b) Enforcement.--This chapter shall be enforced only after
promulgation of regulations by the department, which shall occur
no later than 12 months following passage of this chapter,
except that section 301 shall apply when the area agency on
aging certifies to the department that it is prepared to fulfill
its responsibilities. The certification shall be made within 90
days following promulgation of regulations.
Section 311. Funds for payment of administration of chapter.
Funds necessary to administer this chapter shall be provided
by annual appropriation by the General Assembly.
CHAPTER 5
CRIMINAL HISTORY FOR EMPLOYEES
Section 501. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Applicant." An individual who submits an application, which
is being considered for employment, to a facility.
"State Police." The Pennsylvania State Police.
Section 502. Information relating to prospective facility
personnel.
(a) General rule.--A facility shall require all applicants
to submit with their applications, and shall require all
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administrators and any operators who have or may have direct
contact with a recipient to submit, the following information
obtained within the preceding one-year period:
(1) Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal
history record information), a report of criminal history
record information from the State Police or a statement from
the State Police that their central repository contains no
such information relating to that person. The criminal
history record information shall be limited to that which is
disseminated pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2) (relating to
general regulations).
(2) Where the applicant is not and for the two years
immediately preceding the date of application has not been a
resident of this Commonwealth, administration shall require
the applicant to submit with the application for employment a
report of Federal criminal history record information
pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's
appropriation under the Departments of State, Justice, and
Commerce, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriation
Act, 1973 (Public Law 92-544, 86 Stat. 1109). The department
shall be the intermediary for the purposes of this paragraph.
For the purposes of this paragraph, the applicant shall
submit a full set of fingerprints in a manner prescribed by
the department. The Commonwealth shall submit the
fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a
national criminal history record check. The information
obtained from the criminal record check shall be used by the
department to determine the applicant's eligibility. The
determination shall be submitted to the administrator by the
applicant prior to commencing employment. The administrator
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shall insure confidentiality of the information. The
provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 9121(b)(2) shall not apply if the
request for a report of Federal criminal history record
information is made pursuant to this section.
(b) (Reserved).
Section 503. Grounds for denying employment.
(a) General rule.--In no case shall a facility hire an
applicant or retain an employee required to submit information
pursuant to section 502(a) if the applicant's or employee's
criminal history record information indicates the applicant or
employee has been convicted of any of the following offenses:
(1) An offense designated as a felony under the act of
April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled
Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
(2) An offense under one or more of the following
provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses):
Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).
Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).
Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).
Section 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).
Section 3121 (relating to rape).
Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual
assault).
Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse).
Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent
assault).
Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).
Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).
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Section 3301 (relating to arson and related
offenses).
Section 3502 (relating to burglary).
Section 3701 (relating to robbery).
A felony offense under Chapter 39 (relating to theft
and related offenses) or two or more misdemeanors under
Chapter 39.
Section 4101 (relating to forgery).
Section 4114 (relating to securing execution of
documents by deception).
Section 4302 (relating to incest).
Section 4303 (relating to concealing death of child).
Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of
children).
Section 4305 (relating to dealing in infant
children).
Section 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses
or victims).
Section 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness
or victim).
A felony offense under section 5902(b) (relating to
prostitution and related offenses).
Section 5903(c) or (d) (relating to obscene and other
sexual materials and performances).
Section 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).
Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).
(3) A Federal or out-of-State offense similar in nature
to those crimes listed in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(c) Immunity.--An administrator or a facility shall not be
held civilly liable for any action directly related to good
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faith compliance with this section.
Section 504. Regulations.
The department, in consultation with the Department of Health
and the Department of Public Welfare, shall promulgate the
regulations necessary to carry out this chapter.
Section 505. Violations.
(a) Administrative.--
(1) An administrator who intentionally or willfully
fails to comply or obstructs compliance with the provisions
of this chapter commits a violation of this chapter and shall
be subject to an administrative penalty under paragraph (3).
(2) A facility owner that intentionally or willfully
fails to comply with or obstructs compliance with this
chapter commits a violation of this chapter and shall be
subject to an administrative penalty under paragraph (3).
(3) The Commonwealth agency or Commonwealth agencies
which license the facility have jurisdiction to determine
violations of this chapter and may issue an order assessing a
civil penalty of not more than $2,500. An order under this
paragraph is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to
practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and Ch. 7
Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency
action).
(b) Criminal.--
(1) An administrator who intentionally or willfully
fails to comply or obstructs compliance with this chapter
commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall, upon
conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $2,500 or to
imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(2) A facility owner that intentionally or willfully
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fails to comply with or obstructs compliance with this
chapter commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall,
upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $2,500 or to
imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
Section 506. Provisional employees for limited periods.
Notwithstanding section 502, administrators may employ
applicants on a provisional basis for a single period not to
exceed 30 days or, for applicants under section 502(a)(2), a
period of 90 days, if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The applicant has applied for the information
required under section 502 and the applicant provides a copy
of the appropriate completed request forms to the
administrator.
(2) The administrator has no knowledge of information
pertaining to the applicant which would disqualify him from
employment pursuant to section 503, subject to 18 Pa.C.S. §
4911 (relating to tampering with public records or
information).
(3) The applicant swears or affirms in writing that he
is not disqualified from employment under section 503.
(4) If the information obtained under section 502
reveals that the applicant is disqualified from employment
under section 503, the applicant shall be immediately
dismissed by the administrator.
(5) The department shall develop guidelines regarding
the supervision of applicants. For a home health care agency,
supervision shall include random direct supervision by an
employee who has been employed by the facility for a period
of one year.
Section 507. State Police.
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No later than one year following the effective date of this
chapter, the State Police and the department shall report to the
Aging and Youth Committee of the Senate and the Aging and Youth
Committee of the House of Representatives with their findings
and recommendations regarding the implementation of this
chapter.
Section 508. Applicability.
This chapter shall apply as follows:
(1) An individual who, on the effective date of this
chapter, has continuously for a period of one year been an
employee of the same facility shall be exempt from section
502 as a condition of continued employment.
(2) If an employee is not exempt under paragraph (1),
the employee and the facility shall comply with section 502
within one year of the effective date of this chapter.
(3) If an employee who is exempt under paragraph (1)
seeks employment with a different facility, the employee and
the facility shall comply with section 502.
(4) An employee who has obtained the information
required under section 502 may transfer to another facility
established and supervised by the same owner and is not
required to obtain additional reports before making the
transfer.
CHAPTER 7
REPORTING SUSPECTED ABUSE BY EMPLOYEES
Section 701. Reporting by employees.
(a) Mandatory reporting to agency.--
(1) An employee or an administrator who has reasonable
cause to suspect that a recipient is a victim of abuse shall
immediately make an oral report to the agency. If applicable,
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the agency shall advise the employee or administrator of
additional reporting requirements that may pertain under
subsection (b). An employee shall notify the administrator
immediately following the report to the agency.
(2) Within 48 hours of making the oral report, the
employee or administrator shall make a written report to the
agency. The agency shall notify the administrator that a
report of abuse has been made with the agency.
(3) The employee may request the administrator to make
or to assist the employee to make the oral and written
reports required by this subsection.
(b) Mandatory reports to law enforcement officials.--
(1) An employee or an administrator who has reasonable
cause to suspect that a recipient is the victim of sexual
abuse, serious physical injury or serious bodily injury or
that a death is suspicious shall, in addition to contacting
the agency and the department, immediately contact law
enforcement officials to make an oral report. An employee
shall notify the administrator immediately following the
report to law enforcement officials.
(2) Within 48 hours of making the oral report, the
employee and an administrator shall make a written report to
appropriate law enforcement officials.
(3) The law enforcement officials shall notify the
administrator that a report has been made with the law
enforcement officials.
(4) The employee may request the administrator to make
or to assist the employee to make the oral and written
reports to law enforcement required by this subsection.
(c) Contents of report.--A written report under this section
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shall be in a manner and on forms prescribed by the department.
The report shall include, at a minimum, the following
information:
(1) Name, age and address of the recipient.
(2) Name and address of the recipient's guardian or next
of kin.
(3) Name and address of the facility.
(4) Nature of the alleged offense.
(5) Any specific comments or observations that are
directly related to the alleged incident and the individual
involved.
Section 702. Reports to department and coroner.
(a) Department.--
(1) Within 48 hours of receipt of a written report under
section 701(a) involving sexual abuse, serious physical
injury, serious bodily injury or suspicious death, the agency
shall transmit a written report to the department.
Supplemental reports shall be transmitted as they are
obtained by the agency.
(2) A report under this subsection shall be made in a
manner and on forms prescribed by the department. The report
shall include, at a minimum, the following information:
(i) The name and address of the alleged victim.
(ii) Where the suspected abuse occurred.
(iii) The age and sex of the alleged perpetrator and
victim.
(iv) The nature and extent of the suspected abuse,
including any evidence of prior abuse.
(v) The name and relationship of the individual
responsible for causing the alleged abuse to the victim,
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if known, and any evidence of prior abuse by that
individual.
(vi) The source of the report.
(vii) The individual making the report and where
that individual can be reached.
(viii) The actions taken by the reporting source,
including taking of photographs and x-rays, removal of
recipient and notification under subsection (b).
(ix) Any other information which the department may
require by regulation.
(b) Coroner.--For a report under section 701(a) which
concerns the death of a recipient, if there is reasonable cause
to suspect that the recipient died as a result of abuse, the
agency shall give the oral report and forward a copy of the
written report to the appropriate coroner within 24 hours.
Section 703. Investigation.
(a) Law enforcement officials.--Upon receipt of a report
under section 701(b), law enforcement officials shall conduct an
investigation to determine what criminal charges, if any, will
be filed.
(b) Notification.--If law enforcement officials have
reasonable cause to suspect that a recipient has suffered sexual
abuse, serious physical injury, serious bodily injury or a
suspicious death, law enforcement officials shall notify the
agency.
(c) Cooperation.--To the fullest extent possible, law
enforcement officials, the facility and the agency shall
coordinate their respective investigations. Law enforcement
officials, the facility and the agency shall advise each other
and provide any applicable additional information on an ongoing
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basis.
(d) Further notification.--Law enforcement officials shall
notify the agency and the facility of a decision regarding
criminal charges. The agency and the department shall keep a
record of any decision regarding criminal charges.
(e) Compliance with Chapter 3.--In addition to the
provisions of this section, the agency shall comply with Chapter
3.
Section 704. Restrictions on employees.
(a) Plan of supervision.--Upon notification that an employee
is alleged to have committed abuse, the facility shall
immediately implement a plan of supervision or, where
appropriate, suspension of the employee, subject to approval by
the agency and by the Commonwealth agency with regulatory
authority over the facility. A plan of supervision for a home
health care agency must include periodic random direct
inspections of care-dependent individuals by a facility employee
who has been continuously employed by that facility for a period
of at least one year.
(b) Prohibition.--Upon the filing of criminal charges
against an employee, the Commonwealth agency which licenses the
facility shall order the facility to immediately prohibit that
employee from having access to recipients at the facility. If
that employee is a director, operator, administrator or
supervisor, that employee shall be subject to restrictions
deemed appropriate by the Commonwealth agency which licenses the
facility to assure the safety of recipients of the facility.
Section 705. Confidentiality of and access to confidential
reports.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), a
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report under this chapter shall be confidential.
(b) Exceptions.--A report under this chapter shall be made
available to all of the following:
(1) An employee of the department or of an agency in the
course of official duties in connection with responsibilities
under this chapter.
(2) An employee of the Department of Health or the
Department of Public Welfare in the course of official
duties.
(3) An employee of an agency of another state which
performs protective services similar to those under this
chapter.
(4) A practitioner of the healing arts who is examining
or treating a recipient and who suspects that the recipient
is in need of protection under this chapter.
(5) The director, or an individual specifically
designated in writing by the director, of any hospital or
other medical institution where a victim is being treated if
the director or designee suspects that the recipient is in
need of protection under this chapter.
(6) A guardian of the recipient.
(7) A court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to a
court order.
(8) The Attorney General.
(9) Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction as
long as the information is relevant in the course of
investigating cases of abuse.
(10) A mandated reporter under Chapter 3 who made a
report of suspected abuse. Information released under this
paragraph shall be limited to the following:
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(i) The final status of the report following the
investigation.
(ii) Services provided or to be provided by the
agency.
(c) Excision of certain names.--The name of the person
suspected of committing the abuse shall be excised from a report
made available under subsection (b)(4), (5) and (10).
(d) Release of information to alleged perpetrator and
victim.--Upon written request, an alleged perpetrator and victim
may receive a copy of all information except that prohibited
from being disclosed by subsection (e).
(e) Protecting identity of person making report.--Except for
reports to law enforcement officials, the release of data that
would identify the individual who made a report under this
chapter or an individual who cooperated in a subsequent
investigation is prohibited. Law enforcement officials shall
treat all reporting sources as confidential information.
Section 706. Penalties.
(a) Administrative.--
(1) An administrator who intentionally or willfully
fails to comply or obstructs compliance with the provisions
of this chapter or who intimidates or commits a retaliatory
act against an employee who complies in good faith with the
provisions of this chapter commits a violation of this
chapter and shall be subject to an administrative penalty
under paragraph (3).
(2) A facility owner that intentionally or willfully
fails to comply with or obstructs compliance with this
chapter or that intimidates or commits a retaliatory act
against an employee who complies in good faith with this
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chapter commits a violation of this chapter and shall be
subject to an administrative penalty under paragraph (3).
(3) The Commonwealth agency or Commonwealth agencies
which regulate the facility have jurisdiction to determine
violations of this chapter and may issue an order assessing a
civil penalty of not more than $2,500. An order under this
paragraph is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to
practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and Ch. 7
Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency
action).
(b) Criminal.--
(1) An administrator who intentionally or willfully
fails to comply or obstructs compliance with this chapter
commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall, upon
conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $2,500 or to
imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(2) A facility owner that intentionally or willfully
fails to comply with or obstructs compliance with this
chapter commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall,
upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $2,500 or to
imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
(c) Penalties for failure to report.--A person required
under this chapter to report a case of suspected abuse who
willfully fails to do so commits a summary offense for the first
violation and a misdemeanor of the third degree for a second or
subsequent violation.
Section 707. Immunity.
An administrator or a facility shall not be held civilly
liable for any action directly related to good faith compliance
with this chapter.
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Section 708. Regulations.
The Department of Aging, the Department of Health and the
Department of Public Welfare shall promulgate the regulations
necessary to carry out this chapter.
CHAPTER 51
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Section 5101. Repeals.
All other acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they
are inconsistent with this act.
Section 5102. Effective date.
This act shall take effect July 1, 1988.]
Section 2. The act is amended by adding chapters to read:
CHAPTER 1-A
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Section 101-A. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Older Adults
Protective Services Act.
Section 102-A. Findings.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) Older adults who are at risk of abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment must have access to and be
provided with services necessary to protect their health,
safety and welfare.
(2) The purpose of this act is to assure the
availability of protective services to older adults in need
of them without placing restrictions upon the personal
liberty of older adults.
(3) Protective services must safeguard the rights of
older adults while protecting them from abuse, neglect,
exploitation and abandonment.
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(4) The General Assembly intends to provide for the
detection and reduction, correction or elimination of abuse,
neglect, exploitation and abandonment and to establish a
program to provide protective services for older adults in
need.
(5) Convictions for certain offenses that evidence a
reckless disregard for the vulnerability of care-dependent
populations, involve misappropriation or misuse of property
or involve inappropriate or irresponsible behavior may
legitimately warrant time-limited bans on employment working
with older adults under this act.
Section 103-A. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Abandonment." The desertion of an older adult by a
caretaker.
"Abuse." The occurrence of one or more of the following
acts:
(1) Infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement,
intimidation or punishment resulting in physical harm, pain
or mental anguish.
(2) Willful deprivation of goods or services which are
necessary to maintain physical or mental health.
(3) Sexual abuse, including rape, involuntary deviate
sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent
assault, indecent assault or incest.
(4) Sexual harassment, including unwelcome sexual
advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
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"Administrator." The person responsible for the management
of a facility. The term includes a person responsible for
employment decisions or an independent contractor responsible
for administration of a facility.
"Applicant." An individual who submits an application to be
considered for employment by a facility.
"Area agency on aging." The single local agency or the local
agency's agent designated by the department within each planning
and service area to administer the delivery of protective
services.
"Assessment." A determination based upon a comprehensive
review of an older adult's social, physical and psychological
status along with a description of the older adult's current
resources and needs using instruments and procedures established
by the department.
"Care." Service provided to meet an older adult's need for
personal care or health care which requires interaction with the
older adult.
"Care-dependent individual." An adult who, due to physical
or cognitive disability or impairment, requires assistance to
meet needs for food, shelter, clothing, personal care or health
care.
"Caretaker." A person that has assumed voluntarily, by
contract, by receipt of payment for care, as a result of
familial relationship or by order of a court of competent
jurisdiction the responsibility for the provision of care needed
to maintain the physical or mental health of an older adult.
"Department." The Department of Aging of the Commonwealth.
"Employee." An individual who:
(1) meets any of the following criteria:
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(i) is employed by a facility;
(ii) enters into a contractual relationship with a
facility, consumer or consumer's family or legal
representative to provide care to an older adult; or
(iii) is a student doing an internship or clinical
rotation or any other individual who has been granted
access to a facility to perform a clinical service for a
fee; and
(2) has unsupervised access to the older adult or the
older adult's living quarters, resources or personal records,
including employees of affiliated corporate entities.
"Exploitation." An act or course of conduct by a caretaker
or other person against an older adult or an older adult's
resources without the informed consent of the older adult or
with consent obtained through misrepresentation, coercion or
threats of force, results in monetary, personal or other
benefit, gain or profit for that caretaker or person, or
monetary or personal loss to the older adult.
"Facility." Any of the following:
(1) Domiciliary care as defined in section 2202-A of the
act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The
Administrative Code of 1929.
(2) An assisted living residence as defined in section
1001 of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as
the Human Services Code.
(3) A personal care home as defined in section 1001 of
the Human Services Code.
(4) The following entities as defined in section 802.1
of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the
Health Care Facilities Act:
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(i) A home care agency.
(ii) A home care registry.
(iii) A home health care agency.
(iv) A hospice.
(v) A long-term care nursing facility.
(5) An older adult daily living center as defined in
section 2 of the act of July 11, 1990 (P.L.499, No.118),
known as the Older Adult Daily Living Centers Licensing Act.
(6) A PACE provider as defined in section 1894 of the
Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 1395eee).
(7) Any other public or private organization or entity,
or part of an organization or entity, that uses public funds
and is paid, in part, to provide care to care-dependent
individuals.
"Fiduciary." A guardian, custodian, trustee, agent, personal
representative or other person authorized or required to act on
behalf of an older adult.
"Financial exploitation." Any of the following:
(1) The wrongful or unauthorized taking, withholding,
appropriation or use of money, assets or property of an older
adult.
(2) An act or omission taken by a person, including
through the use of a power of attorney, guardianship or
conservatorship of an older adult, to:
(i) obtain control, through deception, intimidation
or undue influence, over the older adult's money, assets
or property to deprive the older adult of the ownership,
use, benefit or possession of the older adult's money,
assets or property; or
(ii) unlawfully convert money, assets or property of
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the older adult to deprive the older adult of the
ownership, use, benefit or possession of the older
adult's money, assets or property.
"Financial services provider." Any of the following:
(1) A depository institution or affiliate of a
depository institution as those terms are defined in section
3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (64 Stat. 873, 12
U.S.C. § 1813).
(2) A credit union eligible for insurance of member
accounts under the Federal Credit Union Act (48 Stat. 1216,
12 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq.).
(3) An agent as defined in section 102(c) of the act of
December 5, 1972 (P.L.1280, No.284), known as the
Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.
(4) A broker-dealer as defined in section 102(e) of the
Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.
(5) An investment adviser as defined in section 102(j)
of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.
(6) An investment adviser representative as defined in
section 102(j.1) of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972.
(7) A licensee as defined in section 2 of the act of May
15, 1933 (P.L.565, No.111), known as the Department of
Banking and Securities Code, or a similar entity.
(8) A business or agency that engages in an activity
which the department determines, by regulation, to be an
activity that is similar to, related to or a substitute for
an activity conducted by a business described in paragraph
(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) or (7).
"Health care provider." A licensed hospital or health care
facility or person who is licensed, certified or otherwise
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regulated to provide health care services under the laws of this
Commonwealth, including a physician, podiatrist, optometrist,
psychologist, physical therapist, certified nurse practitioner,
registered nurse, nurse midwife, physician's assistant,
chiropractor, dentist or pharmacist or an individual accredited
or certified to provide behavioral health services.
"Intimidation." An act or omission by a person toward
another person that obstructs, impedes, impairs, prevents or
interferes with the administration of this act or other law
intended to protect older adults from mistreatment.
"Law enforcement official." Any of the following:
(1) A police officer of a municipality.
(2) A district attorney.
(3) A Pennsylvania State Police officer.
(4) The Attorney General.
(5) An agent of the Department of Justice and other
Federal law enforcement agencies, who possesses law
enforcement powers and duties.
"Mandatory reporter." Any of the following:
(1) Administrators and employees of a facility.
(2) Health care providers.
(3) Law enforcement officials.
(4) Coroners.
"Neglect." The failure to provide for oneself or the failure
of a caretaker to provide goods or services essential to avoid a
clear and serious threat to physical or mental health. An older
adult who does not consent to the provision of protective
services may not be found to be neglected solely on the grounds
of environmental factors which are beyond the control of the
older adult or the caretaker, such as inadequate housing,
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furnishings, income, clothing or medical care.
"Older adult." An individual within the jurisdiction of the
Commonwealth who is 60 years of age or older.
"Older adult in need of protective services." An
incapacitated older adult who is unable to perform or obtain
services that are necessary to maintain physical or mental
health, for whom there is no responsible caretaker and who is at
imminent risk of danger to self or property.
"Protective services." Those activities, resources and
supports provided to older adults under this act to detect,
prevent, reduce or eliminate abuse, neglect, exploitation and
abandonment.
"Recipient." An individual who receives care, services or
treatment in or from a facility.
"Serious bodily injury." Injury which creates a substantial
risk of death or which causes serious disfigurement of a body
part or organ, protracted loss or impairment of the function of
a body member or organ or severe pain. The term does not include
an isolated accidental injury self-inflicted by an older adult.
"Service plan." As follows:
(1) A written plan developed by an area agency on aging
on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of an older adult
that describes identified needs, goals to be achieved and
specific services designed to support goal attainment, which
includes regular follow-up and predetermined reassessment of
progress.
(2) As used in this definition, specific services
designed to support goal attainment may include homemaker
services, home-delivered meals, personal care, other in-home
services, emergency shelter or food, legal aid services and
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transportation services.
(3) Service plans shall be cooperatively developed by
area agency on aging staff, the older adult or the older
adult's legal representative and other family members, if
appropriate.
(4) The service plan shall address special needs of
other members of the household unit if they affect the older
adult's need for protective services.
"Suspicious death." A death which is unexpected with
unexplained circumstances or cause.
Section 104-A. Intent.
It is not the intent of this act to impose responsibility on
an individual if the responsibility would not otherwise exist in
law.
CHAPTER 2-A
DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT
Sec.
201-A. Public education.
202-A. Interdepartmental consultation.
203-A. Training required.
204-A. Confidentiality.
205-A. Schedule and annual plan.
Section 201-A. Public education.
The department shall conduct an ongoing campaign designed to
inform and educate older adults, professionals and the general
public about the need for and the availability of protective
services under this act.
Section 202-A. Interdepartmental consultation.
The following apply:
(1) The department shall consult with other Commonwealth
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agencies on the design and implementation of the ongoing
public awareness campaign.
(2) The department shall consider the concerns of area
agencies on aging on the design and implementation of the
ongoing public awareness campaign.
Section 203-A. Training required.
(a) Standards.--The department shall establish minimum
standards of experience and training that protective services
providers receiving money from the department shall be required
to follow in the selection and assignment of employees for the
provision of protective services.
(b) Mandatory reporters.--The department shall establish a
training program for mandatory reporters to inform employees
about the requirement to report under this act.
Section 204-A. Confidentiality.
The department shall establish methods which shall be used by
an area agency on aging, its designees and its service providers
to ensure the privacy of older adults receiving services and the
confidentiality of all records.
Section 205-A. Schedule and annual plan.
(a) Establishment.--The department shall establish a
schedule for the submission and approval of the plans associated
with the development of training provided in section 203-A.
(b) Protective services plan.--Each area agency on aging
shall include a protective services plan as part of its annual
plan. The plan shall describe the local implementation of this
act, including the organization, staffing, mode of operations
and financing of protective services and the provisions made for
the purchase of services, interagency relations, interagency
agreements, service referral mechanisms and locus of
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responsibility for cases with multiservice agency needs. The
plan shall include a list of each public or private entity that
has been identified by the area agency on aging as having
substantial contact with potential victims or perpetrators of
abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment. The list shall be
submitted to the department for purposes of the public education
campaign under section 201-A.
CHAPTER 3-A
DUTIES OF AREA AGENCIES ON AGING
Sec.
301-A. Receipt of reports.
302-A. Investigations.
303-A. Investigations involving facilities.
304-A. Investigations involving law enforcement officials.
305-A. Access to older adults.
306-A. Access to records.
307-A. Rights of older adults.
308-A. Confidentiality standards required.
309-A. Availability of protective services.
Section 301-A. Receipt of reports.
An area agency on aging must be capable of receiving reports
of older adults in need of protective services at all times.
This capability may include the use of a local emergency
response system or a crisis intervention agency, if access can
be made to a protective services caseworker in appropriate
emergency situations, as set forth in regulations issued by the
department. A report received orally shall be documented in a
manner prescribed by the department.
Section 302-A. Investigations.
(a) Duty.--An area agency on aging shall investigate each
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report in accordance with regulations issued by the department.
The investigation shall be initiated within 72 hours after the
receipt of the report and shall be carried out under regulations
issued by the department. The regulations shall provide for the
methods of conducting investigations and shall ensure that steps
are taken to avoid a conflict of interest. Consent of the older
adult is not required in order to investigate reports of abuse,
neglect, exploitation or abandonment. The department and any
other Commonwealth agency shall share information with each
other and with mandatory reporters, fiduciaries and financial
institutions as necessary to ensure the health, safety and
welfare of the older adult and to assist financial institutions
and fiduciaries in exercising the financial institutions' and
fiduciaries' authority to prohibit disbursement of funds and
transactions as provided by section 603-A.
(b) Closure.--If after investigation by the area agency on
aging the report is unsubstantiated, the case shall be closed
and all information identifying the reporter and the alleged
perpetrator shall be immediately deleted from all records. For
purposes of substantiating a pattern of abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment, the name of the alleged victim and
any information describing the alleged act of abuse, neglect,
exploitation or abandonment may be maintained for a period of
three years under procedures established by the department.
(c) Timely assessment.--If the report is substantiated by
the area agency on aging or if an assessment is necessary in
order to determine whether or not the report is substantiated,
the area agency on aging shall provide for a timely assessment
if the older adult consents to an assessment. Upon completion of
the assessment, written findings shall be prepared which shall
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