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Elder Abuse Legislation Gets First Round Approval in the Missouri House

April 10, 2001
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

Making sure elderly people aren't abused while they're in nursing homes is the goal of legislation that received first round approval from the Missouri House.

Missy Shelton has more from the state capitol.

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Elder abuse and neglect is a real problem in Missouri...That's what a bi-partisan group of lawmakers concluded one year ago after touring the state and taking testimony from the public on nursing home care.

The committee drafted legislation that almost went to the governor's desk to be signed into law last year but died on the last day of the session.

While there is bi-partisan support this year for the bill cracking down on elder abuse, there are opponents.

Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer says right now there are enough nursing home regulations in place.

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Luetkemeyer's argument failed to convince the bill's sponsor Craig Hosmer who says regulations need to be tightened.

Hosmer says his bill won't penalize good nursing homes.

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The increased regulation set out in Hosmer's bill according to Luetkemeyer is burdensome.

And he says it's not fair to impose new regulations on an industry that's losing money on Medicaid reimbursements.

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Under the bill, law enforcement agencies must be notified of all complaints of abuse.

The bill also prohibits nursing homes from hiring employees whose names appear on the state's child abuse and neglect registry.

Hosmer says these are standards good nursing homes should have in place anyway.

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Hosmer's bill faces a final vote in the House. If approved, it would move to the Senate for consideration.

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