TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HEALTH.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that falls and fall-related injuries among the elderly impact individuals, families, the community, and the State's health care system. Fall prevention is a major concern for the safety and well-being of the State's elderly residents, the fastest-growing segment of Hawaii's population.
Among the elderly in Hawaii, falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries (an average of forty-four per cent) and injury-related hospitalizations (an average of eighty-three per cent). On average, every five hours in Hawaii an elderly person is injured so severely in a fall that hospitalization is necessary. Falls among Hawaii's elderly also result in a yearly average of eighty-two deaths and nearly 1,800 hospitalizations.
The legislature further finds that hospital costs associated with fall-related injuries average over $65,000,000 a year. This total does not include the additional significant costs associated with skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. Among Hawaii seniors hospitalized for a fall, forty-three per cent are discharged to skilled nursing facilities for additional care, and twelve per cent are moved to rehabilitation facilities.
The legislature additionally finds that access to fall prevention services and programs would significantly reduce these costs. In addition, the early detection of fall occurrences would reduce both costs and suffering by expediting treatment, minimizing serious long-term consequences, reducing the extent of the injury, and in some instances, avoiding death.
Falls among the elderly are a significant public health issue. Yet, currently, there are insufficient resources to develop a coordinated statewide approach to reduce and promptly detect falls among the elderly. The legislature therefore finds that the department of health's emergency medical services and injury prevention system branch should be required to establish and maintain a program dedicated to fall prevention and early detection for the elderly. This program shall serve as a focal point for statewide injury prevention and detection efforts to ensure multidisciplinary support, coordination of prevention and detection efforts, and continuity of implementation and accountability.
The purpose of this Act is to require the department of health's emergency medical services and injury prevention system branch to establish and maintain a statewide fall prevention and early detection program and to make an appropriation for this program.
SECTION 2. Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part XVIII to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§321- Statewide fall prevention and early detection program. (a) The department of health shall establish and maintain a statewide fall prevention and early detection program to serve as a focal point for statewide injury prevention and detection efforts. The department may have a position dedicated to fall prevention and early detection in support of this program.
(b) The statewide fall prevention and early detection program shall develop a statewide approach to falls among the elderly by:
(1) Investigating and examining the immediate and long-term dangers of fall injuries on the elderly;
(2) Examining the fiscal impact of falls by the elderly on the State's medical system and health care costs;
(3) Recommending appropriate interventions and prevention programs to reduce falls by the elderly;
(4) Investigating and implementing the most effective means to enhance public awareness that falls are preventable;
(5) Reviewing and developing the potential for increasing for the elderly and their caregivers, on a statewide basis, the availability and accessibility of fall prevention programs that effectively use community resources;
(6) Recommending measures that will promote early detection of falls, particularly for those who live alone or in circumstances where the likelihood of not being discovered soon after a fall is great; and
(7) Investigating and recommending the best way to expand the role of medical and health care professionals in screening, educating, and referring the elderly to fall prevention and early detection services and programs.
For purposes of this subsection, the statewide fall prevention and early detection program shall collaborate with interested stakeholders, including health care facilities, community coalitions, government agencies, and organizations concerned with protecting the elderly and preventing and detecting elderly falls.
(c) The statewide fall prevention and early detection program shall report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, beginning with the regular session of 2015, describing the progress made in implementing subsection (b), including the review of fall prevention data and the impact of falls by the elderly on the State's medical system and health care costs.
(d) For the purposes of this section, "the elderly" means persons who are at least sixty-five years of age."
SECTION 3. Section 321-224, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) In addition to other functions and duties assigned under this part, the department shall:
(1) Regulate ambulances and ambulance services;
(2) Establish emergency medical services throughout the State, including emergency aeromedical services, which shall meet the requirements of this part, subject to section 321-228;
(3) Review and approve the curricula and syllabi of training courses offered to emergency medical services personnel who provide basic, intermediate, and advanced life support, consult and coordinate with the University of Hawaii, or any other accredited community college, college, or university, or any professional organization that provides emergency medical services training, regarding the training for basic, intermediate, and advanced life support personnel, as provided in section 321-229;
(4) Collect and evaluate data for the continued evaluation of the state system, subject to section 321-230;
(5) Coordinate emergency medical resources and the allocation of the state system's services and facilities in the event of mass casualties, natural disasters, national emergencies, and other emergencies, ensuring linkage to local, state, and national disaster plans, and participation in exercises to test these plans;
(6) Establish, administer, and maintain a communication system for the state system;
(7) Assist each county in the development of a "911" emergency telephone system;
(8) Secure technical assistance and other assistance and consultation necessary for the implementation of this part, subject to section 321-230;
(9) Implement public information and education programs to inform the public of the state system and its use, and disseminate other emergency medical information, including appropriate methods of medical self-help and first-aid, and the availability of first-aid training programs in the State;
(10) Establish standards and provide training for dispatchers in the state system, and maintain a program of quality assurance for dispatch equipment and operations;
(11) Establish a program that will enable emergency service personnel to provide early defibrillation;
(12) Establish within the department the emergency medical service system for children;
(13) Consult with the advisory committee
on matters relating to the implementation of this part; [
(14) Establish and maintain standards for emergency
medical services course instructor qualifications and requirements for
emergency medical services training facilities[
(15) Establish and maintain a statewide fall prevention and early detection program, as provided in section 321- ."
SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2013-2014 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for the department of health's emergency medical services and injury prevention system branch to establish and maintain a statewide fall prevention and early detection program.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2013.
Kupuna Caucus; Department of Health; Statewide Fall Prevention and Early Detection Program; Appropriation
Requires the department of health's emergency medical services and injury prevention system branch to establish and maintain a statewide fall prevention and early detection program and appropriates funds for the program. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.