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Directing the Joint Commission on Health Care to study the efficacy of providing additional protections for vulnerable adults.

Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 1, 1999
Agreed to by the Senate, February 18, 1999

WHEREAS, in generations past, vulnerable adults were fewer and families were available and willing to care for these adults most of the time; and

WHEREAS, as we approach the millennium, news reports and health industry newsletters indicate that our population of vulnerable adults is dramatically increasing; and

WHEREAS, in response to the growing need for long-term care service for this expanding population, small businesses and entrepreneurs will respond to provide care in various settings, including various institutions and the home; and

WHEREAS, Virginia has laws relating to undue influence in the context of various wills and trusts, adult protective services, criminal records checks of persons who work in certain health care facilities, and regulation of health professionals and facilities; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, scams and cons to steal the resources of vulnerable adults have taken on many guises, using telephone and computer communications and sophisticated sales techniques as well as the age-old ploy of undue influence and harassment; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth’s laws provide vulnerable adults with protection from some actions of unscrupulous people, however, such mechanisms may not prove to be effective in protecting this population in this age of technology and information explosion; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Commission on Health Care be directed to study the efficacy of providing additional protections for vulnerable adults. In conducting this study, the Joint Commission shall (i) review the settings and delivery of care to vulnerable adults in Virginia; (ii) enlist the input of the agencies providing services to vulnerable adults and those agencies licensing or otherwise regulating facilities and individuals providing care; (iii) review other states’ laws and regulations concerning personal care services, home health care, hospice, and personal attendants; (iv) seek advice from Virginia’s vulnerable adults and their families; (v) evaluate any administrative or court cases which may be reviewed without breach of confidentiality; and (vi) review such reports and academic studies of the issues as may be available.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Joint Commission for this study, upon request.

The Joint Commission shall complete its work in time to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 2000 Session of the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents.