SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Health Care, March 28, 2013
Title: An act relating to disciplinary actions against the health professions license of the subject of a department of social and health services' finding.
Brief Description: Concerning disciplinary actions against the health professions license of the subject of a department of social and health services' finding.
Sponsors: Representatives Moeller, Cody, Morrell, Pedersen, Hunt, Clibborn, Green, Van De Wege, Fitzgibbon, Lytton, Appleton and Jinkins.
Brief History: Passed House: 3/05/13, 95-0.
Committee Activity: Health Care: 3/27/13, 3/28/13 [DP].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH CARE
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Becker, Chair; Dammeier, Vice Chair; Keiser, Ranking Member; Bailey, Cleveland, Ericksen, Frockt, Parlette and Schlicher.
Staff: Kathleen Buchli (786-7488)
Background: The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) must initiate investigations upon the report of abuse, abandonment, neglect, exploitation, and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. If the initial report to DSHS or its investigation shows that the conduct may have been criminal, DSHS must immediately report the information to law enforcement. In addition, when a report or investigation involves a licensed health care provider, DSHS must notify the relevant disciplining authority. Upon receiving a report of possible abuse or neglect of a child, DSHS must investigate and provide a report to Child Protective Services.
Long-term care workers with a finding of fact, final order, or conclusion of law that the long-term care worker is guilty of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment of a minor or a vulnerable adult is prohibited from being employed in the care of a vulnerable adult or from unsupervised access to a vulnerable adult.
Summary of Bill: Any credentialed health care provider or applicant for a health professions credential who has a final finding of abuse or neglect of a minor, or abuse, abandonment, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult must have his or her health professions credential summarily suspended. The suspension remains in effect until the Department of Health (DOH) or the appropriate health professions board or commission completes its disciplinary proceedings.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect on January 1, 2014.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: The professional disciplinary system works well, except for this situation. Currently, a health care provider who is found by DSHS to have abused or neglected a vulnerable adult may continue working with vulnerable adults under a license issued by the DOH. This protects patients from potentially abusive providers, people who must be found to have committed such abuse. This offers increased protection for vulnerable adults; it can take months before DOH suspends a provider's license now.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Moeller, prime sponsor; Kristi Weeks, DOH; Teri Johnson, citizen.