Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 400
       By Senator Gibson
       6-00142-20                                             2020400__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to elder abuse fatality review teams;
    3         creating s. 415.1103, F.S.; authorizing the
    4         establishment of elder abuse fatality review teams in
    5         each judicial circuit, to be housed, for
    6         administrative purposes only, in the Department of
    7         Elderly Affairs; providing conditions for review team
    8         membership, establishment, and organization;
    9         specifying requirements for a review team’s operations
   10         and meeting schedules; requiring that the
   11         administrative costs of operating a review team be
   12         paid by team members or the entities they represent;
   13         authorizing elder abuse fatality review teams in
   14         existence on a certain date to continue to exist;
   15         requiring such existing teams to comply with specified
   16         requirements; specifying review team duties; requiring
   17         each review team to annually submit to the department
   18         by a certain date a summary report containing
   19         specified information; requiring the department to
   20         annually prepare a summary report based on the review
   21         teams’ information and submit such report to the
   22         Governor, the Legislature, and the Department of
   23         Children and Families; providing immunity from
   24         monetary liability for review team members under
   25         certain conditions; providing an effective date.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   29         Section 1. Section 415.1103, Florida Statutes, is created
   30  to read:
   31         415.1103 Elder abuse fatality review teams.—
   32         (1)(a) An elder abuse fatality review team may be
   33  established in each judicial circuit to review deaths of elderly
   34  persons found to have been caused by, or related to, abuse or
   35  neglect. The review teams shall be housed, for administrative
   36  purposes only, in the Department of Elderly Affairs.
   37         (b) An elder abuse fatality review team may include, but is
   38  not limited to, representatives from any of the following
   39  entities in the review team’s judicial circuit:
   40         1. Law enforcement agencies.
   41         2. The state attorney.
   42         3. The medical examiner.
   43         4. A county court judge.
   44         5. Adult protective services.
   45         6. The area agency on aging.
   46         7. The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
   47         8. The Agency for Health Care Administration.
   48         9. The Office of the Attorney General.
   49         10.The Office of the State Courts Administrator.
   50         11.The clerk of the court.
   51         12.A victim services program.
   52         13.An elder law attorney.
   53         14.Emergency services personnel.
   54         15.A certified domestic violence center.
   55         16.An advocacy organization for victims of sexual
   56  violence.
   57         17.A funeral home director.
   58         18.A forensic pathologist.
   59         19.A geriatrician.
   60         20.A geriatric nurse.
   61         21.A geriatric psychiatrist or other individual licensed
   62  to offer behavioral health services.
   63         22.A hospital discharge planner.
   64         23.A public guardian.
   65         24.Any other persons who have knowledge regarding fatal
   66  incidents of elder abuse, domestic violence, or sexual violence,
   67  including knowledge of research, policy, law, and other matters
   68  connected with such incidents involving elders, or who are
   69  recommended for inclusion by the review team.
   70         (c)A state attorney, or his or her designee, may initiate
   71  the establishment of a review team in his or her judicial
   72  circuit and may call the first organizational meeting of the
   73  team. At the initial meeting, members of a review team shall
   74  choose two members to serve as co-chairs and shall establish a
   75  schedule for future meetings.
   76         (d)Participation in a review team is voluntary. Members of
   77  a review team shall serve without compensation and may not be
   78  reimbursed for per diem or travel expenses.
   79         (e)Members shall serve for terms of 2 years, to be
   80  staggered as determined by the co-chairs. Chairs may be
   81  reelected by a majority vote of a review team for not more than
   82  two consecutive terms.
   83         (f)Each review team shall determine its local operations,
   84  including, but not limited to, the process for case selection.
   85  Reviews must be limited to closed cases in which an elderly
   86  person’s death is found to have been caused by, or related to,
   87  abuse or neglect. All identifying information concerning the
   88  person must be redacted in documents received for review. Each
   89  review team shall meet at least once each fiscal year.
   90         (g)Administrative costs of operating the review team must
   91  be borne by the team members or entities that they represent.
   92         (2) An elder abuse fatality review team in existence on
   93  July 1, 2019, may continue to exist and must comply with the
   94  requirements of this section.
   95         (3) An elder abuse fatality review team shall do all of the
   96  following:
   97         (a) Review deaths of elderly persons in its judicial
   98  circuit which are found to have been caused by, or related to,
   99  abuse or neglect.
  100         (b) Take into consideration the events leading up to a
  101  fatal incident, available community resources, current law and
  102  policies, and the actions taken by systems or individuals
  103  related to the fatal incident.
  104         (c) Identify potential gaps, deficiencies, or problems in
  105  the delivery of services to elderly persons by public and
  106  private agencies which may be related to deaths reviewed by the
  107  team.
  108         (d) Whenever possible, develop communitywide approaches to
  109  address the causes of, and contributing factors to, deaths
  110  reviewed by the team.
  111         (e) Develop recommendations and potential changes in law,
  112  rules, and policies to support the care of elderly persons and
  113  to prevent elder abuse deaths.
  114         (4)(a)A review team may share with other review teams in
  115  this state any relevant information that pertains to the review
  116  of the death of an elderly person.
  117         (b)A review team member may not contact, interview, or
  118  obtain information by request directly from a member of the
  119  deceased elder’s family as part of the review unless a team
  120  member is authorized to do so in the course of his or her
  121  employment duties. A member of the deceased elder’s family may
  122  voluntarily provide information or any record to a review team
  123  but must be informed that such information or any record is
  124  subject to public disclosure unless a public records exemption
  125  applies.
  126         (5)(a) Annually by September 1, each elder abuse fatality
  127  review team shall submit a summary report to the Department of
  128  Elderly Affairs which includes, but is not limited to:
  129         1. Descriptive statistics regarding cases reviewed by the
  130  team, including demographic information on victims and the
  131  causes and nature of their deaths;
  132         2. Current policies, procedures, rules, or statutes the
  133  review team has identified as contributing to the incidence of
  134  elder abuse and elder deaths, and recommendations for system
  135  improvements and needed resources, training, or information
  136  dissemination to address such identified issues; and
  137         3. Any other recommendations to prevent deaths from elder
  138  abuse or neglect, based on an analysis of the data and
  139  information presented in the report.
  140         (b)Annually by November 1, the Department of Elderly
  141  Affairs shall prepare a summary report of the review team
  142  information submitted under paragraph (a). The department shall
  143  submit its summary report to the Governor, the President of the
  144  Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the
  145  Department of Children and Families.
  146         (6)There is no monetary liability on the part of, and a
  147  cause of action for damages may not arise against, any member of
  148  an elder abuse fatality review team due to the performance of
  149  his or her duties as a review team member in regard to any
  150  discussions by, or deliberations or recommendations of, the team
  151  or the member unless such member acted in bad faith, with wanton
  152  and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
  153         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.