H.B. 2669 amends one of the statutes in an act that requires specified persons to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of clients of adult family homes, residents of adult care homes, patients of medical care facilities, persons with a developmental disability receiving services through a community mental retardation facility or a residential facility licensed pursuant to K.S.A. 75-3307b, and patients of a state psychiatric hospital or state institution for the mentally retarded. Reports concerning residents of adult care homes and patients in medical care facilities are made to the Department of Health and Environment and all other reports to the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.
The amendments to K.S.A. 39-1409 require that any report that is investigated internally by a caretaker is to be in addition to an independent investigation by the Department of Health and Environment or the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Caretaker, as defined for the purposes of the act of which the amended statute is a part, is a person or institution who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the resident voluntarily, by contract, or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
H.B. 2669 was introduced at the request of a representative of Kansas Advocates for Better Care who also supported the bill at the time of the Committee hearing. The need for the bill, according to the conferee, arises from a change made by the Department of Health and Environment in response to reduced federal funding for certification of adult care homes. In response to less funding for inspectors, the Department has authorized the investigation of specified levels of abuse, neglect, and exploitation complaints to be done by the caretaker against whom the complaint was made. An opinion of the Attorney General upheld the authority of the agency to delegate the investigation of such complaints. A report by the Legislative Division of Post Audit indicated some problems with the complaint investigation procedures of the Department. H.B. 2669 would reverse the decision of the Department of Health and Environment to allow some complaints to be investigated internally by requiring an independent investigation by the Department regardless of whether an internal investigation is made by the caretaker person or institution.
The fiscal note on H.B. 2669 indicates passage of the bill would increase expenditures by $165,000 from the State General Fund for the Department of Health and Environment. A total of 3.0 FTE positions would be needed, with a cost of $117,624 for salaries and wages and $47,376 for other operating costs. The Department indicates approximately 800 internal investigations are conducted annually by adult care homes following a report of abuse in the home. In some instances the investigation done by the home has been accepted by the Department in lieu of a separate investigation by Department staff. Social and Rehabilitation Services indicates passage of H.B. 2669 would have no effect on its operations.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.