The federal Elder Justice act was signed into law in March. The legislation, which, for the first time coordinates efforts to prevent elder abuse on a federal level, authorizes $757 million over four years for the Elder Justice Act, which:
*Establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council to make recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the coordination of activities of federal, state, local and private agencies and entities relating to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Recommendations contained in report are due in two years.
*Establishes a 27-member Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation. They are to submit a report within 18 months to create a short and long-term multidisciplinary strategic plan for the developing field of elder justice.
*Adult Protective Services (APS) funding. Provides $400 million in first-time dedicated funding for adult protective services. Provides $100 million for state demonstration grants to test a variety of methods to detect and prevent elder abuse; provides $26 million for establishment and support of Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Forensic Centers to develop forensic expertise regarding and provide services relating to, elder abuse, neglect and exploitation; Provides $32.5 million in grants to support the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and an additional $40 million in training programs for national organizations and state long-term care ombudsman programs.
*Authorizes $67.5 million in grants to enhance long-term care staffing through training and recruitment and incentives for individuals seeking or maintaining employment in long-term care, either in a facility or a community based long-term care entity.
*Authorizes $48 million for a National Training Institute for Surveyors.
*Requires the immediate reporting to law enforcement of crimes in a long-term care facility and establishes civil monetary penalties for failure to report.
*Provides for penalties for long-term care facilities that retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint against or reporting a long-term care facility that violates reporting requirements.
*Authorizes a $500,000 study on establishing a national nurse aide registry.
*Authorizes $15 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to improve data collection and dissemination, develop and disseminate information related to best practices related to adult protective services and to conduct research related to APS.
*Establishes a nationwide program for national and state background checks on direct patient access employees of long-term care facilities, and provides $160 million in funding.
Source: Elder Justice Coalition