Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2137
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Full Text of SB2137  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Findings.
5    (1) The General Assembly finds that contact with family,
6friends, and clergy is an integral part of the quality of life
7for nursing home residents. Social isolation has long been a
8trigger for declining mental and physical health. While the
9digital revolution creates a new approach for community
10connectedness, the State of Illinois stands firmly in
11agreement with the body of research that shows in-person
12interactions is the preferable and more impactful avenue for
13family, friends, and clergy to connect with and support
14nursing home residents and supports virtual visitation
15programs as a supplement to in-person interactions.
16Furthermore, the State of Illinois looks to government payor
17sources and integrated entities of the health care system,
18including Medicaid managed care organizations, as key
19stakeholders in providing the adequate resources for residents
20to digitally connect with loved ones near and far.
21    (2) The General Assembly further finds that use of
22electronic devices to make and maintain contact with nursing
23home residents is a new approach and as such must be approached
24with care to ensure the protection of nursing home residents



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1from those who would seek to harm or defraud them using this
2new technology.
3    Section 5. The Nursing Home Care Act is amended by adding
4Section 3-102.3 as follows:
5    (210 ILCS 45/3-102.3 new)
6    Sec. 3-102.3. Religious and recreational activities;
7social isolation.
8    (a) In this Section:
9    "Assistive and supportive technology and devices" means
10computers, video conferencing equipment, distance based
11communication technology, or other technological equipment,
12accessories, or electronic licenses as may be necessary to
13ensure that residents are able to engage in face-to-face,
14verbal-based, or auditory-based contact, communication,
15religious activity, or recreational activity with other
16facility residents and with family members, friends, loved
17ones, caregivers, and other external support systems, through
18electronic means, in accordance with the provisions of
19paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c).
20    "Religious and recreational activities" includes any
21religious, social, or recreational activity that is consistent
22with a resident's preferences and choosing, regardless of
23whether the activity is coordinated, offered, provided, or
24sponsored by facility staff or by an outside activities



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2    "Resident's representative" has the same meaning as
3provided in Section 1-123.
4    "Social isolation" means a state of isolation wherein a
5resident of a long-term care facility is unable to engage in
6social interactions and religious and recreational activities
7with other facility residents or with family members, friends,
8loved ones, caregivers and external support systems.
9    "Virtual visitation" means the use of face-to-face,
10verbal-based, or auditory-based contact through electronic
12    (b) The Department shall:
13        (1) require each long-term care facility in the State
14    to adopt and implement written policies, provide for the
15    availability of assistive and supportive technology and
16    devices to facility residents, and ensure that appropriate
17    staff are in place to help prevent the social isolation of
18    facility residents; and
19        (2) communicate regularly with the Department of
20    Healthcare and Family Services and the Department on Aging
21    regarding intergovernmental cooperation concerning best
22    practices for potential funding for facilities to mitigate
23    the potential for racial disparities as an unintended
24    consequence of this Act.
25    The virtual visitation policies shall not be interpreted
26as a substitute for in-person visitation, but shall be wholly



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1in addition to existing in-person visitation policies.
2    (c) The social isolation prevention policies adopted by
3each long-term care facility pursuant to subsection (b) shall
4be consistent with rights and privileges guaranteed to
5residents and constraints provided under Sections 2-108,
62-109, and 2-110 and shall include the following:
7        (1) authorization and inclusion of specific protocols
8    and procedures to encourage and enable residents of the
9    facility to engage in in-person contact, communication,
10    religious activity, and recreational activity with other
11    facility residents and with family members, friends, loved
12    ones, caregivers, and other external support systems,
13    except when prohibited, restricted, or limited by federal
14    or State statute, rule, regulation, executive order, or
15    guidance;
16        (2) authorization and inclusion of specific protocols
17    and procedures to encourage and enable residents to engage
18    in face-to-face, verbal-based, or auditory-based contact,
19    communication, religious activity, and recreational
20    activity with other facility residents and with family
21    members, friends, loved ones, caregivers, and other
22    external support systems through the use of electronic or
23    virtual means and methods, including, but not limited to,
24    computer technology, the Internet, social media,
25    videoconferencing, videophone, and other innovative
26    technological means or methods, whenever the resident is



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1    subject to restrictions that limit his or her ability to
2    engage in in-person contact, communication, religious
3    activity, or recreational activity as authorized by
4    paragraph (1) and when the technology requested is not
5    being used by other residents in the event of a limited
6    number of items of technology in a facility;
7        (3) a mechanism for residents of the facility or the
8    residents' representatives to request access to assistive
9    and supportive technology and devices as may be necessary
10    to facilitate the residents' engagement in face-to-face,
11    verbal-based, or auditory-based contact, communication,
12    religious activity, and recreational activity with other
13    residents, family members, friends, and other external
14    support systems, through electronic means, as provided by
15    paragraph (2);
16        (4) specific administrative policies, procedures, and
17    protocols governing:
18            (A) the acquisition, maintenance, and replacement
19        of assistive and supportive technology and devices;
20            (B) the use of environmental barriers and other
21        controls when the assistive and supportive technology
22        and devices acquired pursuant to subparagraph (A) are
23        in use, especially in cases where the assistive and
24        supportive technology and devices are likely to become
25        contaminated with bodily substances, are touched
26        frequently, or are difficult to clean; and



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1            (C) the regular cleaning of the assistive and
2        supportive technology and devices acquired pursuant to
3        subparagraph (A) and any environmental barriers or
4        other physical controls used in association therewith;
5        (5) a requirement that (i) upon admission and (ii) at
6    the request of a resident or the resident's
7    representative, appropriate staff shall develop and update
8    an individualized virtual visitation schedule while taking
9    into account the individual's requests and preferences
10    with respect to the residents' participation in social
11    interactions and religious and recreational activities;
12        (6) a requirement that appropriate staff, upon the
13    request of a resident or the resident's family members,
14    guardian, or representative, shall develop an
15    individualized virtual visitation schedule for the
16    resident, which shall:
17            (A) address the need for a virtual visitation
18        schedule and establish a virtual visitation schedule
19        if deemed to be appropriate;
20            (B) identify the assessed needs and preferences of
21        the resident and any preferences specified by the
22        resident's representative, unless a preference
23        specified by the resident conflicts with a preference
24        specified by the resident's representative, in which
25        case the resident's preference shall take priority;
26            (C) document the long-term care facility's defined



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1        virtual hours of visitation and inform the resident
2        and the resident's representative that virtual
3        visitation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (c)
4        will adhere to the defined visitation hours;
5            (D) describe the location within the facility and
6        assistive and supportive technology and devices to be
7        used in virtual visitation; and
8            (E) describe the respective responsibilities of
9        staff, visitors, and the resident when engaging in
10        virtual visitation pursuant to the individualized
11        visitation plan;
12        (7) a requirement (i) upon admission and (ii) at the
13    request of the resident or the resident's representative,
14    to provide notification to the resident and the resident's
15    representative that they have the right to request of
16    facility staff the creation and review of a resident's
17    individualized virtual visitation schedule;
18        (8) a requirement (i) upon admission and (ii) at the
19    request of the resident or resident's representative, to
20    provide, in writing to the resident or resident's
21    representative, virtual visitation hours, how to schedule
22    a virtual visitation, and how to request assistive and
23    supportive technology and devices;
24        (9) specific policies, protocols, and procedures
25    governing a resident's requisition, use, and return of
26    assistive and supportive technology and devices maintained



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1    pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4), and require
2    appropriate staff to communicate those policies,
3    protocols, and procedures to residents; and
4        (10) the designation of at least one member of the
5    therapeutic recreation or activities department, or, if
6    the facility does not have such a department, the
7    designation of at least one senior staff member, as
8    determined by facility management, to train other
9    appropriate facility employees, including, but not limited
10    to, activities professionals and volunteers, social
11    workers, occupational therapists, and therapy assistants,
12    to provide direct assistance to residents upon request and
13    on an as-needed basis, as necessary to ensure that each
14    resident is able to successfully access and use, for the
15    purposes specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this
16    subsection, the assistive and supportive technology and
17    devices acquired pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph
18    (4).
19    (d) A long-term care facility may apply to the Department
20for civil monetary penalty fund grants for assistive and
21supportive technology and devices and may request other
22available federal and State funds.
23    (e) The Department shall determine whether a long-term
24care facility is in compliance with the provisions of this
25Section and the policies, protocols, and procedures adopted
26pursuant to this Section in accordance with the Nursing Home



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1Care Act for surveys and inspections.
2    In addition to any other applicable penalties provided by
3law, a long-term care facility that fails to comply with the
4provisions of this Section or properly implement the policies,
5protocols, and procedures adopted pursuant to subsection (b)
6shall be liable to pay an administrative penalty as a Type "C"
7violation, the amount of which shall be determined in
8accordance with a schedule established by the Department by
9rule. The schedule shall provide for an enhanced
10administrative penalty in the case of a repeat or ongoing
11violation. Implementation of an administrative penalty as a
12Type "C" violation under this subsection shall not be imposed
13prior to January 1, 2023.
14    (f) Whenever a complaint received by the Office of State
15Long Term Care Ombudsman discloses evidence that a long-term
16care facility has failed to comply with the provisions of this
17Section or to properly implement the policies, protocols, and
18procedures adopted pursuant to subsection (b), the Office of
19State Long Term Care Ombudsman shall refer the matter to the
21    (g) This Section does not impact, limit, or constrict a
22resident's right to or usage of his or her personal property or
23electronic monitoring under Section 2-115.
24    (h) Specific protocols and procedures shall be developed
25to ensure that the quantity of assistive and supportive
26technology and devices maintained on-site at the facility



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1remains sufficient, at all times, to meet the assessed social
2and activity needs and preferences of each facility resident.
3Residents' family members or caregivers should be considered,
4as appropriate, in the assessment and reassessment.
5    (i) Within 60 days after the effective date of this
6amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, the Department
7shall file rules necessary to implement the provisions of this
8Section. The rules shall include, but need not be limited to,
9minimum standards for the social isolation prevention policies
10to be adopted pursuant to subsection (b), a penalty schedule
11to be used pursuant to subsection (e), and policies regarding
12a long-term care facility's Internet access and subsequent
13Internet barriers in relation to a resident's virtual
14visitation plan pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (c).
15    (j) The Department's rules under subsection (i) shall take
16into account Internet bandwidth limitations outside of the
17control of a long-term care facility.
18    (k) Nothing in this Section shall be interpreted to mean
19that addressing the issues of social isolation shall take
20precedence over providing for the health and safety of the
22    Section 10. The Illinois Administrative Procedure Act is
23amended by adding Section 5-45.8 as follows:
24    (5 ILCS 100/5-45.8 new)



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1    Sec. 5-45.8. Emergency rulemaking; Nursing Home Care Act.
2To provide for the expeditious and timely implementation of
3this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, emergency
4rules implementing Section 3-102.3 of the Nursing Home Care
5Act may be adopted in accordance with Section 5-45 by the
6Department of Public Health. The adoption of emergency rules
7authorized by Section 5-45 and this Section is deemed to be
8necessary for the public interest, safety, and welfare.
9    This Section is repealed on January 1, 2027.
10    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
11becoming law.