Firm News

Illinois Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act
01/4/2016
Illinois Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act Takes Effect January 1, 2016
 
Happy New Year from Anderson, Rasor & Partners!
 
This is a reminder that on January 1, 2016, the Illinois Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act took effect. The Act covers, among other things, facilities licensed under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. (§5).
 
Briefly, the Act provides that facilities must allow the resident or their families to electronically monitor their rooms, provided proper consent is obtained. Section 10(a) states: "A resident shall be permitted to conduct authorized electronic monitoring of the resident's room through the use of electronic monitoring devices placed in the room pursuant to this Act." (§10(a)).
 
The Act provides specific requirements with regard to who must consent and how consent may be obtained; what facilities must do to support the installation of monitoring devices; and notifications facilities must provide to visitors regarding electronic monitoring.
 
Notably, although the Act took effect on January 1, 2016, it provides that authorized electronic monitoring may begin only after a notification and consent form prescribed by the Department has been completed and submitted to the facility. (§20(a)). The Act requires the IDPH to prescribe a written notification and consent form within 60 days of the effective date of the Act (§20(d)); and to promulgate rules necessary to implement the Act (§65).
 
Of significance, information obtained by electronic monitoring may be used in litigation.  The Act provides that a recording may be disseminated for the purpose of addressing concerns relating to the health, safety, or welfare of a resident or residents. (§45(b)).   A monitoring resident must provide a copy of any video or audio recording to parties involved in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding if the video or audio recording was made during the time period that the conduct at issue in the proceeding allegedly occurred. (§45(c)).  The Act also addresses admissibility of such evidence, providing that information obtained may be admitted into evidence in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding (if the contents of the recording have not been edited or artificially enhanced and the recording includes the date and time that events occurred). (§50).
 
Facilities will need to be updating policies and procedures to comply with the Act, and educating staff about its implementation and implications.
 
If you have questions regarding the legislation or require assistance with implementation, please contact  Anne Nelson at 312-673-7810 or anne.nelson@arandpartners.com.