Granny Cam Bill In Minnesota For Nursing Homes Soon To Pass
A Granny Cam bill that will regulate electronic monitoring in resident rooms of Minnesota assisted living communities and nursing homes will soon become law.
If so, Minnesota will join Texas and Utah in having laws mandating that assisted living communities grant resident requests to install monitoring equipment.
As of now, six states — Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington have Granny Cam laws on the books. New Jersey also has a “Safe Care Cam” program that loans micro-surveillance equipment to healthcare consumers. Families of assisted living and nursing home residents can rent these cameras and install them in the facilities.
Under the Minnesota bill, as currently written, all senior living and long-term care facilities must allow monitoring beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Residents will be apprised of their rights and a state-developed notification and consent form will be on-file.
Granny Cam: Privacy Law Considerations
The sticking point with this type of legislation and getting it passed-are the privacy issues. Many residents and their families want cameras installed so that they can monitor their loved ones. Privacy issues are a sticky matter and a balancing act. For example, at what point does monitoring by family and facility staff cross from privacy into a violation?
Right now in Minnesota, this question is being hotly debated. In the current legislation being considered, facilities would be required to post signs that electronic monitoring is occurring. Staff members and doctors would be prohibited from accessing a resident’s recordings or interfering with the recording device. The only exception is when there is an emergency.
Moreover, facilities would be prohibited from refusing to admit patients as well as removing, retaliating, or discriminating against a resident for installing a camera.
In addition, recordings could be used as evidence in legal proceedings. On the other hand, facilities would be protected from any civil or criminal liability stemming from the recording.
Proponents of this legislation; both the families as well the facilities are in favor of passage. There are enough safeguards built into the legislation, they believe. In addition, the added transparency will strengthen the confidence of families that their loved ones are getting the best possible care.
Both parties believe that electronic monitoring can help prevent maltreatment as well as improve communication between the family members and the providers.