Mandated Reporting & Discharge Notice Guidelines
Who are Mandated Reporters?
Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not that person receives compensation, including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults, or any elder or dependent adult care custodian, health practitioner, or employee of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency is a mandated reporter.
AB 40 requires that any mandated reporter -including employees, supervisors or administrators of long term care facilities report suspected abuse or neglect by phone and follow up with a completed written report.
What is reported?
Mandated reporters MUST report any abuse of which they have knowledge of, suspect, or have reason to believe is occurring. This includes physical abuse, abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect (includes self-neglect) of which they have knowledge of. For specific definitions of what constitutes abuse, please see the AB 40 flowchart here.
There are many types of abuse. Some of the more common types, with examples, are listed below.
Types of Abuse
- Physical: e.g. Hitting, kicking, striking, pinching, slapping, shaking, pushing, grabbing, handling in a rough manner, or injuring someone in another way. it also includes prolonged, excessive, inappropriate, or unauthorized use of physical restraints or drugs used to control a residents behavior.
- Verbal Abuse: e.g. Name calling, yelling, swearing, frightening, belittling, intimidating, or threatening someone.
- Sexual Abuse: e.g. Unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
- Emotional Abuse: e.g. Belittling, causing fear or shame, threatening to punish residents for their behavior, threat of eviction, or encouraging a resident to pay for favors or attention.
- Isolation: e.g. Preventing the individual from receiving mail, telephone calls, visitors
- Financial: e.g. Theft of property or money, and misappropriation of funds.
- Neglect: e.g. Being ignored or treated with indifference, not receiving basic medical or personal care (such as, not receiving assistance with personal hygiene, adequate food, liquids, shelter, and clothing), not receiving protection from safety hazards.
- Self-neglect: e.g. Refusal to eat, drink, or take prescribed medication. (If resident is discharging against medical advice (AMA) report SOC-341 to Adult Protective Services)
- Mental suffering: e.g. Verbal assaults, threats (including threats of eviction), causing fear.
The SOC 341 form, as adopted by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), is required under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Sections 15630 and 15658(a)(1). This form documents the information given by the reporting party on the suspected incident of abuse or neglect of an elder or dependent adult. This form must be completed in its entirety and signed by the mandated reporter. You can obtain the most recently updated reporting form along with the instructions for completing the form here.
If you are a financial institution reporting suspected financial abuse, you can obtain the most recently updated reporting form here.
Mandated Reporting Training
Facility staff can access a FREE 90 min. online training on the Mandated Reporting of Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse in California. Please use the link here to access the training: http://cdss.ca.gov/MandatedReporting
Where to Report
Mandated Reporters reporting abuse or neglect in long term care facilities must report to required agencies (Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Licensing and Law Enforcement), provided below are the phone numbers and fax numbers for mandated reporting in Kern County. For specific timelines and where to send your report, please see the AB 40 flowchart here.
Please note that these numbers are being provided as reference only, may be subject to change, and that it is the responsibility of the mandated reporter to verify all numbers of the agencies reporting to.
California Department of Public Health (For Hospital and Skilled Nursing Licensee)
Community Care Licensing (For Assisted Living Licensee)
For any abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, immediately report to law enforcement by dialing 911!
Kern County Sheriff’s Dept. (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within County jurisdiction)
Bakersfield Police Dept. (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
City of Arvin Police Dept. (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
City of Delano Police Dept. (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
City of Shafter Police Dept. (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
City of Wasco (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
Phone: 661-758-7266 (After 5pm, please call 661-861-3110)
City of Tehachapi (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
City of Ridgecrest (Non-Emergency Report ONLY within City jurisdiction)
Adult Protective Services
Any residents discharging from a licensed care facility against medical advice can be reported to Adult Protective Services at 661.868.1006. An SOC 341 report can also be faxed to Adult Protective Services at 661-868-0923.
Failure to Report by Mandated Reporters
Failure to report by mandated reporters any suspected incidents of physical abuse (including sexual abuse), abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, abduction, or neglect (including self-neglect) of an elder or a dependent adult is a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than six months in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both imprisonment and fine. Any mandated reporter who willfully fails to report abuse of an elder or a dependent adult, where the abuse results in death or great bodily injury, may be punished by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of up to $5,000, or by both imprisonment and fine (WIC section 15630(h)).
Officers or employees of financial institutions are mandated reporters of financial abuse (effective January 1, 2007). These mandated reporters who fail to report financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult are subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000. These civil penalties shall be paid by the financial institution, which is the employer of the mandated reporter, to the party bringing the action.
Discharge Notice Guidelines
Before transferring or discharging a resident, skilled nursing facilities must provide written notice to the resident and the resident’s representative in a language and manner they understand. 42 C.F.R. §483.15(c)(3)(i). Facilities must also now send a copy of the notice to the long-term care ombudsman program. See the document below for guidance on sending required transfer/discharge notices to the Kern County Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. To verify that your transfer/discharge notice meets the requirements outlined in the law, please seek the assistance of your skilled nursing facility legal counsel.