House Bill 195
149th General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING NURSING FACILITIES, LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES, AND SERVICES.
Chapter 11 of Title 16 was enacted in 1998. Since that time, there have been many changes to the health care delivery system, including a larger percentage of individuals receiving long term health care services in their homes and settings other than in traditional nursing facilities. This Act updates Chapter 11 of Title 16 to better protect residents of long term care facilities by using consistent terminology, consistent practices, and updating the Code to reflect changes in related areas of the law and in how long term care is provided to ensure that all Delawareans receiving long term care are protected from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. This Act replaces the phrase "nursing facility and similar facility" with "long term care facility" and provides detailed definitions of different types of long term care settings and services, including traditional nursing homes. It also changes the term "patients" to "residents," reflecting that people are receiving long term care services where they live, regardless of whether home is a traditional nursing facility, a private residence, or a setting between those levels. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. More specifically, the Act does the following: Sections 2 through 22 amend Subchapter I. These sections specifically list and define the long term care facilities monitored by the Department. Sections 23 through 30 amend Subchapter II. These sections update the Resident's Bill of Rights. Due process protections, including upon discharge, are fully explained and who is the authorized representative for a person who is incompetent is clearly set forth. Sections 31 through 39 amend Subchapter III. These sections update and expand the definitions of abuse and the steps to be taken by the Department and the Department of Justice upon receipt of complaint. It strengthens penalties against individuals and entities that commit or permit abuse of residents. Sections 40 through 43 amend Subchapter IV. These sections update the criminal background check and drug screening requirements for employees of long term care facilities. Sections 44 through 46 amend Subchapter V. These sections update the criminal background check and drug screening requirements for employees of home care agencies. Sections 47 through 48 amend Subchapter VI. These sections update the terms and definitions for the office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsperson. Sections 49 through 51 amend Subchapter VIII. These sections update the terms and definitions for the Nursing Facility Quality Assessment Fund. Section 52 creates a new Subchapter IX to require criminal background checks and drug testing of employees of pediatric extended care centers.