Bill allowing cameras in nursing homes goes to governor’s desk

Ozarks Politics

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill that would put cameras, or “granny cams”, in nursing home rooms is now going to the Missouri governor’s desk.

Representative Jim Murphy says the first call he took when becoming a lawmaker was from a woman who believed her husband died due to mistreatment in a nursing home and has pushed for the legislation ever since.

“At 4:30 on Friday in the afternoon with an hour and a half to go, we pulled it across through the finish line and I’m still smiling,” said Murphy.

House Bill 1387 passed after advocates for patients and representatives from nursing homes sat down to negotiate a deal.

Murphy believed both parties could find a compromise for allowing video cameras inside patient rooms.

These video cameras, according to Murphy, could only be used if the patient’s family wants one, is willing to pay for it and the footage could only be used for investigations of abuse or neglect.

“And therefore you couldn’t make YouTube sensations out of nurses who drop a bedpan or something like that, but if abuse or neglect is going on, then you can, anybody can turn it over to authorities,” said Murphy.

Murphy says there are also HIPPA protections in place. Signs must be posted outside a patients room notifying anyone entering that cameras are in use. And if there’s another patient in the room, they must also agree to a camera in the room before any recording can take place.

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