On May 31, 2018, Louisiana’s Governor signed into law House Bill No. 281, which authorizes a Louisiana nursing home resident or a legal representative to have a monitoring device installed in the room of the resident and establishes conditions for the installation and use of monitoring devices in nursing homes.
The so-called “Granny Cam” law also provides conditions for consent relative to the installation and use of monitoring devices, limitations on the use of monitoring devices, and requiring nursing homes to make certain accommodations relative to such devices.
The new law, called the Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act, provides, in part:
A. A resident who has the capacity to consent as determined by emergency rules promulgated by the department pursuant to this Part or his legal representative may authorize the installation and use of a monitoring device in a nursing home if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The resident or his legal representative gives notice of the installation to the nursing home.
(2) If the monitoring device records activity visually, the recordings made by the device include a record of the date and time.
(3) The resident pays for the monitoring device and all installation, operation, maintenance, and removal costs associated with the device.
(4) Each resident occupying the same room who has the capacity to consent as determined by emergency rules promulgated by the department pursuant to this Part, or that resident’s legal representative, gives written consent for the installation of the monitoring device.
B. If the structure of the resident’s room must be altered in order to accommodate a monitoring device, then the renovation to the room may be done only by a licensed contractor, subject to approval by the facility.
C. Any monitoring device installed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall be in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety regulations.
The Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act further provides:
A.(1) At the time of a person’s admission to a nursing home, the nursing home shall notify the person of his right to have a monitoring device installed in his room, and shall offer the person the option to have a monitoring device. The resident or his roommate may exercise the right to install or remove a monitoring device at any time during which he resides in the nursing home. The nursing home shall keep a record of the person’s authorization or choice not to have a monitoring device.
(2) The nursing home shall make the record provided for in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection accessible to the ombudsman.
B.(1) If a resident who is residing in a shared room wishes to have a monitoring device installed in the room and another resident living in or moving into the same shared room refuses to consent to the use of the monitoring device, then the nursing home shall make a reasonable attempt to accommodate the resident who wishes to have the monitoring device installed. A nursing home shall be deemed to have met this accommodation requirement when, upon notification that a roommate has not consented to the use of an electronic monitoring device in his room, the facility offers to move either resident to another shared room that is available at the time of the request.
(2) If a resident chooses to reside in a private room in order to accommodate the use of an electronic monitoring device, the resident shall pay the private room rate. If a nursing home is unable to accommodate a resident due to lack of space, the nursing home shall reevaluate the request at least once every two weeks until the request is fulfilled.
C. After authorization, consent, and notice in accordance with this Part, a resident or his legal representative may install, operate, and maintain, at the expense of the resident, a monitoring device in the room of the resident.
D. The nursing home shall cooperate to accommodate the installation of the monitoring device unless doing so would place undue burden on the nursing home.
E. The monitoring device shall be in a fixed, stationary position and shall monitor only the resident who consents either personally or through his legal representative to be monitored.
With regard to consent and waiver, the Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act provides:
A. Consent to the authorization for installation and use of a monitoring device may be given only by the resident or his legal representative.
B. Consent to the authorization for installation and use of a monitoring device shall include a release of liability for the nursing home for a violation of the resident’s right to privacy insofar as the use of the monitoring device is concerned.
C. A resident or his legal representative may reverse a choice to have or not have a monitoring device installed and used at any time after notice of such reversal has been made to the nursing home, and to the ombudsman, upon a form prescribed by the department.
The Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act provides the following protections:
A.(1) No nursing home shall deny a person or resident admission to or discharge from a nursing home, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a person or resident, because the person or resident chooses to authorize installation and use of a monitoring device.
. . .
B. A sign shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance of a resident’s room where authorized electronic monitoring is being conducted. The sign shall be in large, clearly legible type and font and bear the words “This room is electronically monitored.”
. . .
Any person who views an incident which a reasonable man would consider abuse or neglect after viewing a recording made in a nursing facility shall report the incident to the facility as soon as is practicable after the viewing. The facility shall be provided with a copy of the recording in which the suspected incident of abuse or neglect occurred. If the recording must be transferred to a different format to be viewed, the transfer shall be done at the expense of the facility by a qualified professional who can certify that the contents of the recording were not altered.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Louisiana or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in Louisiana or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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