June 29 best guess when 2017 legislation takes effect, including Senate Bill 150

After checking around State Government this morning, perhaps I’ve finally landed on the date that legislation from the 2017 session takes effect.

June 29.

Now that’s for all legislation that did not have an “Emergency Clause” attached to it. For those new laws, they become effective when the ink dries from the Governor’s signature. For all other legislation, apparently June 29 is that date.

This includes Senate Bill 150 and I point that out specifically because I’m getting some calls from newspapers. This bill, sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, addresses advertising by attorneys/lawyers pointing out deficiencies in long-term care facilities.

Trying to rein in advertisements about past performances of these facilities, the General Assembly approved language that would require these ads contain additional information. And not only that, but the information to be added must be printed in the ad in the same size, font and color as the deficiencies themselves.

In presenting his bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, a physician, Senator Carroll said some ads by these attorneys mention deficiencies that are years old but the copy doesn’t tell the reader that. It’s worded to make them think it’s a current inspection, finding current deficiencies, that have not been corrected.

Many of you have received these ads, and some of you have refused to publish them. That’s within your purview. But this might help those of you who feel uncomfortable about publishing them because the ad has to point out specific information that wasn’t required before.

Keep this language handy and should you receive an inquiry from a law firm, or receive an ad that may not include all of this, let the advertiser know. But again, it’s not in effect now; that happens on June 29.

It was initially approved by the Senate 25 to 12, went to the House where it received some alterations, was approved by the House 95-0 and then the Senate concurred with the House changes on a vote of 32 to 6.

Here is the new language that will be added to KRS 216.555:

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the results of a survey, inspection, or investigation of a long-term care facility conducted by any state or federal department or agency, including all statements of deficiencies, findings of deficiency, and all plans of correction, shall not be used in an advertisement publication, unless the advertisement publication includes all of the following:

(a) The date the survey, inspection, or investigation was conducted;

(b) A statement that a facility is required to submit a plan of correction in response to a statement of deficiencies, if applicable;

(c) If a finding or deficiency cited in the statement of deficiencies has been corrected, a statement that the finding or deficiency has been corrected and the date that the finding or deficiency was corrected; and

(d) A statement that the advertisement publication is not authorized or endorsed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or any other government agency.

(3) This section does not prohibit the results of a survey, inspection, or investigation conducted under this section from being used in an administrative proceeding or a civil or criminal investigation or prosecution.

(4) The information required by subsection (2) of this section shall:

(a) Be in the same color, font, and size as the other language on or in the advertisement publication; and

(b) Appear as prominent as other language used in the advertisement publication.

 

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