Senate Bill 84
151st 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 TO ABUSE, NEGLECT, MISTREATMENT, FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OR MEDICATION DIVERSION OF RESIDENTS OR PATIENTS.
This Act elevates medication diversion out of the definition of abuse for the sake of clarity and is not intended to change existing reporting obligations for facilities under Subchapter III of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code (“Subchapter III”). This Act ensures reporting requirements are triggered for facilities and hospitals covered by Subchapter III if medication diversion occurs in the facilities or hospitals. Reporting is essential to the Department of Justice’s ability to prosecute and recommend treatment, when appropriate, for the person committing medication diversion. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual, including standardizing the order of words in the phrase “abuse, neglect, mistreatment, financial exploitation, or medication diversion” to ensure consistency. Medication diversion poses a threat to patient and resident safety in long-term care facilities, psychiatric facilities, nursing facilities, and hospitals. Risks include patients and residents receiving inadequate pain relief, exposure to infectious diseases from contaminated needles and drugs, and potentially unsafe care. The Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes 5 classes of drugs that are frequently abused: opioids, depressants, hallucinogens, stimulants, and anabolic steroids. Opioid abuse is the major cause of medication diversion. Medication diversion is commonly underreported. The sooner medication diversion is reported, the sooner interventions can be made to protect the health and safety of a patient or resident and to provide drug treatment or other help to a healthcare worker.