As the population ages, concerns about elderly Americans continue to grow. This is especially true in the areas of abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Elder abuse often goes unreported as the victims of abuse fear retaliation, loss of care or financial assistance, or simply do not have the capacity to report their abusers.
The Elder Justice Act or EJA was enacted in March of 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help combat the problem of underreporting. The EJA placed mandatory reporting requirements on long-term residential care facilities receiving at least $10,000 in federal funds in the preceding year.
Under the EJA, a long-term residential care facility is a residential care provider that arranges for or directly provides long-term care. Long-term care is supportive health services for individuals who need assistance due to the loss of capacity for self-care due to illness, disability, or vulnerability.
Long-term care facilities include:
The EJA mandates that long-term care facilities notify covered individuals annually of the Act’s reporting requirements. Covered individuals must report any reasonable suspicion of a crime committed against an elderly resident to the applicable HHS state survey agency and at least one local law enforcement agency.
Covered individuals are long-term care facility:
In Arizona, reasonable suspicion of a crime is any reasonable belief that an elderly resident is the victim of unlawful conduct under Arizona state or local law.
There is a strict timeline for reporting reasonable suspicion of a crime against an elderly long-term care resident. If the suspected crime involved serious bodily injury, that crime must be reported within two hours. Any other crimes require reporting within twenty-four hours.
Covered individuals who fail to report a suspected crime within the specified timeframe are subject to a maximum civil penalty of $200,000. If the failure to report the suspected crime causes additional harm to the elderly resident or another person, the maximum penalty is increased to $300,000.
A long-term care facility may not retaliate against a covered individual who reports a suspected crime. Retaliation subjects a long-term care facility to a maximum civil penalty of $200,000 and exclusion from federal funds.
If you suspect your loved one was a victim of abuse in a long-term residential care facility, contact the elder abuse attorneys at Knapp & Roberts. We are compassionate warriors for victims of elder abuse and their families.
No one should be victimized by their caregivers or the facility entrusted with their well-being. Pursue justice for your loved one and prevent future abuse by holding abusers responsible for their actions. Schedule a confidential consultation at Knapp & Roberts today.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.