HEALTH AND SAFETY
ADULT ABUSE, NEGLECT AND EXPLOITATION ACT
39-5303. Duty to report cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults. (1) Any physician, nurse, employee of a public or private health facility, or a state licensed or certified residential facility serving vulnerable adults, medical examiner, dentist, ombudsman for the elderly, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, social worker, police officer, pharmacist, physical therapist, or home care worker who has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected or exploited shall immediately report such information to the commission. Provided however, that nursing facilities defined in section 39-1301(b), Idaho Code, and employees of such facilities shall make reports required under this chapter to the department. When there is reasonable cause to believe that abuse or sexual assault has resulted in death or serious physical injury jeopardizing the life, health or safety of a vulnerable adult, any person required to report under this section shall also report such information within four (4) hours to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
(2) Failure to report as provided under this section is a misdemeanor subject to punishment as provided in section 18-113, Idaho Code. If an employee at a state licensed or certified residential facility fails to report abuse or sexual assault that has resulted in death or serious physical injury jeopardizing the life, health or safety of a vulnerable adult as provided under this section, the department shall also have the authority to:
(a) Revoke the facility’s license and/or contract with the state to provide services;
(b) Deny payment;
(c) Assess and collect a civil monetary penalty with interest from the facility owner and/or facility administrator;
(d) Appoint temporary management;
(e) Close the facility and/or transfer residents to another certified facility;
(f) Direct a plan of correction;
(g) Ban admission of persons with certain diagnoses or requiring specialized care;
(h) Ban all admissions to the facility;
(i) Assign monitors to the facility; or
(j) Reduce the licensed bed capacity.
Any action taken by the department pursuant to this subsection shall be appealable as provided in chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
(3) Any person, including any officer or employee of a financial institution, who has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected or exploited may report such information to the commission or its contractors.
(4) The commission and its contractors shall make training available to officers and employees of financial institutions in identifying and reporting instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation involving vulnerable adults.
(5) Any person who makes any report pursuant to this chapter, or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such report, or who is authorized to provide supportive or emergency services pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability on account of such report, testimony or services provided in good faith, except that such immunity shall not extend to perjury, reports made in bad faith or with malicious purpose nor, in the case of provision of services, in the presence of gross negligence under the existing circumstances.
(6) Any person who makes a report or allegation in bad faith, with malice or knowing it to be false, shall be liable to the party against whom the report was made for the amount of actual damages sustained or statutory damages in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is greater, plus attorney’s fees and costs of suit. If the court finds that the defendant acted with malice or oppression, the court may award treble actual damages or treble statutory damages, whichever is greater.
[(39-5303) 1982, ch. 286, sec. 2, p. 734; am. and redesignated 1990, ch. 213, sec. 46, p. 518; am. 1991, ch. 329, sec. 4, p. 849; am. 1996, ch. 78, sec. 2, p. 248; am. 1998, ch. 308, sec. 4, p. 1021; am 1998, ch. 396, sec. 1; p. 1240; am. 2000, ch. 274, sec. 119, p. 856.]