A new proposal in Georgia would take away a nursing home’s ability to sign death certificates.
State lawmakers are currently considering House Bill 262, which would require long-term care facilities, including assisted living facilities, to notify the county coroner’s office when there are deaths, the Augusta Chronicle reported.
The Georgia Health Care Association said it’s aware of the legislation and “has had substantive conversations with the [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] and Georgia Coroners Association regarding reporting requirements and how they may be further defined and clarified.”
“We will continue to remain engaged with all parties on this issue,” the organization added.
If passed, the legislation would allow coroners to conduct death investigations that would exonerate providers against potential abuse claims, or identify neglect or abuse cases, proponents argued.
“Nursing homes often conduct their own in-house investigations of potentially criminal allegations, and law enforcement is never notified,” William Loomer, of the Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly task force, told the news organization.
“The success of this bill would not only ensure that an impartial investigation of every nursing home death is conducted by the coroner, but I believe it would increase public confidence in the nursing home’s practices in the long run,” he added.
The bill has been assigned to the House Governmental Affairs committee for review.