ENROLLED 2020 Legislature SB 400, 1st Engrossed 2020400er 1 2 An act relating to elder abuse fatality review teams; 3 creating s. 415.1103, F.S.; authorizing a state 4 attorney, or his or her designee, to initiate an elder 5 abuse fatality review team in his or her judicial 6 circuit; providing conditions for review team 7 membership, establishment, and organization; 8 specifying requirements for a review team’s operations 9 and meeting schedules; defining the term “closed 10 case”; requiring that the administrative costs of 11 operating a review team be paid by team members or the 12 entities they represent; authorizing elder abuse 13 fatality review teams in existence on a certain date 14 to continue to exist; requiring such existing teams to 15 comply with specified requirements; specifying review 16 team duties; requiring each review team to annually 17 submit to the department a summary report containing 18 specified information by a certain date; requiring the 19 department to annually prepare a summary report based 20 on the review teams’ information and submit such 21 report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the 22 Department of Children and Families; providing 23 immunity from monetary liability for review team 24 members under certain conditions; providing an 25 effective date. 26 27 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 28 29 Section 1. Section 415.1103, Florida Statutes, is created 30 to read: 31 415.1103 Elder abuse fatality review teams.— 32 (1)(a) A state attorney, or his or her designee, may 33 initiate an elder abuse fatality review team in his or her 34 judicial circuit to review deaths of elderly persons caused by, 35 or related to, abuse or neglect. 36 (b) An elder abuse fatality review team may include, but is 37 not limited to, representatives from any of the following 38 entities or persons located in the review team’s judicial 39 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) Participation in a review team is voluntary. Members of 71 a review team shall serve without compensation and may not be 72 reimbursed for per diem or travel expenses. Members shall serve 73 for terms of 2 years, to be staggered as determined by the co 74 chairs. 75 (d) The state attorney may call the first organizational 76 meeting of the team. At the initial meeting, members of a review 77 team shall choose two members to serve as co-chairs. Chairs may 78 be reelected by a majority vote of a review team for not more 79 than two consecutive terms. At the initial meeting, members of a 80 review team shall establish a schedule for future meetings. Each 81 review team shall meet at least once each fiscal year. 82 (e) Each review team shall determine its local operations, 83 including, but not limited to, the process for case selection. 84 The state attorney shall refer cases to be reviewed by each 85 team. Reviews must be limited to closed cases in which an 86 elderly person’s death was caused by, or related to, abuse or 87 neglect. All identifying information concerning the elderly 88 person must be redacted by the state attorney in documents 89 received for review. As used in this paragraph, the term “closed 90 case” means a case that does not involve information considered 91 active as defined in s. 119.011(3)(d). 92 (f) Administrative costs of operating the review team must 93 be borne by the team members or entities they represent. 94 (2) An elder abuse fatality review team in existence on 95 July 1, 2020, may continue to exist and must comply with the 96 requirements of this section. 97 (3) An elder abuse fatality review team shall do all of the 98 following: 99 (a) Review deaths of elderly persons in its judicial 100 circuit which are found to have been caused by, or related to, 101 abuse or neglect. 102 (b) Take into consideration the events leading up to a 103 fatal incident, available community resources, current law and 104 policies, and the actions taken by systems or individuals 105 related to the fatal incident. 106 (c) Identify potential gaps, deficiencies, or problems in 107 the delivery of services to elderly persons by public and 108 private agencies which may be related to deaths reviewed by the 109 team. 110 (d) Whenever possible, develop communitywide approaches to 111 address the causes of, and contributing factors to, deaths 112 reviewed by the team. 113 (e) Develop recommendations and potential changes in law, 114 rules, and policies to support the care of elderly persons and 115 to prevent elder abuse deaths. 116 (4)(a) A review team may share with other review teams in 117 this state any relevant information that pertains to the review 118 of the death of an elderly person. 119 (b) A review team member may not contact, interview, or 120 obtain information by request directly from a member of the 121 deceased elder’s family as part of the review unless a team 122 member is authorized to do so in the course of his or her 123 employment duties. A member of the deceased elder’s family may 124 voluntarily provide information or any record to a review team 125 but must be informed that such information or any record is 126 subject to public disclosure unless a public records exemption 127 applies. 128 (5)(a) Annually by September 1, each elder abuse fatality 129 review team shall submit a summary report to the Department of 130 Elderly Affairs which includes, but is not limited to: 131 1. Descriptive statistics regarding cases reviewed by the 132 team, including demographic information on victims and the 133 causes and nature of their deaths; 134 2. Current policies, procedures, rules, or statutes the 135 review team has identified as contributing to the incidence of 136 elder abuse and elder deaths, and recommendations for system 137 improvements and needed resources, training, or information 138 dissemination to address such identified issues; and 139 3. Any other recommendations to prevent deaths from elder 140 abuse or neglect, based on an analysis of the data and 141 information presented in the report. 142 (b) Annually by November 1, the Department of Elderly 143 Affairs shall prepare a summary report of the review team 144 information submitted under paragraph (a). The department shall 145 submit its summary report to the Governor, the President of the 146 Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the 147 Department of Children and Families. 148 (6) There is no monetary liability on the part of, and a 149 cause of action for damages may not arise against, any member of 150 an elder abuse fatality review team due to the performance of 151 his or her duties as a review team member in regard to any 152 discussions by, or deliberations or recommendations of, the team 153 or the member unless such member acted in bad faith, with wanton 154 and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property. 155 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.