208.912. 1. When any adult day care worker; chiropractor, Christian Science practitioner, coroner, dentist, embalmer, employee of the departments of social services, mental health, or health and senior services; employee of a local area agency on aging or an organized area agency on aging program; funeral director; home health agency or home health agency employee; hospital and clinic personnel engaged in examination, care, or treatment of persons; in-home services owner, provider, operator, or employee; law enforcement officer; long-term care facility administrator or employee; medical examiner; medical resident or intern; mental health professional; minister; nurse; nurse practitioner; optometrist; other health practitioner; peace officer; pharmacist; physical therapist; physician; physician's assistant; podiatrist; probation or parole officer; psychologist; vendor as defined in section 208.900; personal care attendant; or social worker has reasonable cause to believe that a consumer has been abused or neglected as defined in section 192.2400* as a result of the delivery of or failure to deliver personal care assistance services, he or she shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the department. If the report is made by a physician of the consumer, the department shall maintain contact with the physician regarding the progress of the investigation.
2. When a report of deteriorating physical condition resulting in possible abuse or neglect of a consumer is received by the department, the department's case manager and the department nurse shall be notified. The case manager shall investigate and immediately report the results of the investigation to the department nurse.
3. If requested, local area agencies on aging shall provide volunteer training to those persons listed in subsection 1 of this section regarding the detection and reporting of abuse and neglect under this section.
4. Any person required in subsection 1 of this section to report or cause a report to be made to the department who fails to do so within a reasonable time after the act of abuse or neglect is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
5. The report shall contain the names and addresses of the vendor, the personal care attendant, and the consumer, and information regarding the nature of the abuse or neglect, the name of the complainant, and any other information which might be helpful in an investigation.
6. In addition to those persons required to report under subsection 1 of this section, any other person having reasonable cause to believe that a consumer has been abused or neglected by a personal care attendant may report such information to the department.
7. If the investigation indicates possible abuse or neglect of a consumer, the investigator shall refer the complaint together with his or her report to the department director or his or her designee for appropriate action. If, during the investigation or at its completion, the department has reasonable cause to believe that immediate action is necessary to protect the consumer from abuse or neglect, the department or the local prosecuting attorney may, or the attorney general upon request of the department shall, file a petition for temporary care and protection of the consumer in a circuit court of competent jurisdiction. The circuit court in which the petition is filed shall have equitable jurisdiction to issue an ex parte order granting the department authority for the temporary care and protection of consumer, for a period not to exceed thirty days.
8. Reports shall be confidential, as provided under section 192.2500*.
9. Anyone, except any person who has abused or neglected a consumer, who makes a report pursuant to this section or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from the report shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability for making such a report or for testifying, except for liability for perjury, unless such person acted negligently, recklessly, in bad faith, or with malicious purpose.
10. Within five working days after a report required to be made under this section is received, the person making the report shall be notified of its receipt and of the initiation of the investigation.
11. No person who directs or exercises any authority as a vendor, and no personal care attendant, shall harass, dismiss or retaliate against a consumer because he or she or any member of his or her family has made a report of any violation or suspected violation of laws, standards or regulations applying to the vendor or personal care attendant which he or she has reasonable cause to believe has been committed or has occurred.
12. The department shall place on the employee disqualification list established in section 192.2490* the names of any persons who have been finally determined by the department to have recklessly, knowingly or purposely abused or neglected a consumer while employed by a vendor, or employed by a consumer as a personal care attendant.
13. The department shall provide the list maintained pursuant to section 192.2490* to vendors as defined in section 208.900.
14. Any person, corporation or association who received the employee disqualification list under subsection 13 of this section, or any person responsible for providing health care service, who declines to employ or terminates a person whose name is listed in this section shall be immune from suit by that person or anyone else acting for or in behalf of that person for the failure to employ or for the termination of the person whose name is listed on the employee disqualification list.
(L. 2005 S.B. 539 § 660.673)
*Reprinted due to statutory references changed to comply with section 3.060.
Missouri General Assembly