Nursing homes seek solutions to sex-offender problem

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The American Health Care Association asked Congress to help improve the tracking of sex offenders and develop a definition of "sex offender" in an effort to improve residents' safety.

A House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Wednesday heard testimony from AHCA, attorneys and family members affected by the sexual assault of a loved one in a nursing home. Speakers called on policymakers and law enforcement to provide clear policies for long-term care facilities and address resident protection as well as compliance with federal privacy laws.
Tom Coble, president and CEO of Elmbrook Management Company, who represented AHCA, said that local, state and federal lawmakers should come together to address the growing problem of sex offenders in facilities. Oklahoma State Representative Kris Steele, who also spoke at the hearing, authored a state bill designed to establish separate long-term care facilities for sex offenders. The state Legislature passed the bill and Oklahoma is currently seeking contractors to build a facility.