TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-66
Office of Healthy Aging

SECTION 42-66-8


§ 42-66-8. Abuse, neglect, exploitation, and self-neglect of elderly persons – Duty to report.

(a) Any person who has reasonable cause to believe that any person sixty (60) years of age or older has been abused, neglected, or exploited, or is self-neglecting, shall make an immediate report to the director of the office of healthy aging, or his or her designee. The office of healthy aging may then notify law enforcement if appropriate. This section applies to any person sixty (60) years of age or older regardless of where he or she lives in the community.

(b) Any physician, physician assistant, medical intern, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse's aide, orderly, certified nursing assistant, medical examiner, dentist, optometrist, optician, chiropractor, podiatrist, coroner, police officer, probation officer, emergency medical technician, firefighter, speech pathologist, audiologist, social worker, pharmacist, physical or occupational therapist, or health officer, who has reasonable cause to believe that any person sixty (60) years of age or older has been abused, neglected, or exploited, or is self-neglecting, shall make an immediate report to the director of the office of healthy aging, or his or her designee. The office of healthy aging may then notify law enforcement if appropriate. This section applies to any person sixty (60) years of age or older regardless of where he or she lives in the community. Reporting requirements relating to individuals in healthcare facilities are further set forth in § 23-17.8-2. The report pursuant to this section shall contain:

(1) The name, address, telephone number, occupation, and employer's address and the phone number of the person reporting;

(2) The name and address of the patient or resident who is believed to be the victim of the abuse, mistreatment, or neglect;

(3) The details, observations, and beliefs concerning the incident(s);

(4) Any statements regarding the incident made by the patient or resident and to whom they were made;

(5) The date, time, and place of the incident;

(6) The name of any individual(s) believed to have knowledge of the incident;

(7) The name of any individual(s) believed to have been responsible for the incident;

(8) The name of the individual's caretaker, if known;

(9) Any medical treatment being received if immediately required and need to coordinate care, if known;

(10) Any other information the reporter believes relevant to the investigation; and

(11) The name and address of the reporter and where the reporter can be contacted. The reporter's identity shall remain confidential unless disclosure is consented to by the reporter or by court order.

(c) Individuals required to report pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall, whenever practical and if known, provide twenty-four hour (24) notice of discharge to the department and shall include the address and telephone number of the individual being discharged.

(d) In cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, any person who fails to make the report shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). Nothing in this section shall require an elder who is a victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation or who is self neglecting, to make a report regarding such abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect to the director of the office of healthy aging, or his or her designee. The office of healthy aging may then notify law enforcement if appropriate.

(e) No person required to report pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be liable in any civil or criminal action by reason of the report; provided, however, that such person did not perpetrate, inflict, or cause the abuse. No employer or supervisor may discharge, demote, transfer, reduce pay, benefits, or work privileges; prepare a negative work performance evaluation; or take any other action detrimental to an employee or supervisee who files a report in accordance with the provisions of this section by reason of such report.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1981, ch. 69, § 2; P.L. 1988, ch. 304, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 253, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 84, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 209, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 277, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 333, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 107, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 142, § 2.)