New Law Strengthens Protections For Vulnerable Adults In Oklahoma

In May, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law House Bill 3668. It addresses several areas surrounding the care and treatment of older, at-risk, or vulnerable adults.

Sunday, June 16th 2024, 10:45 pm



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In May, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law House Bill 3668. It addresses several areas surrounding the care and treatment of older, at-risk, or vulnerable adults.

Republican Rep. Nicole Miller from Edmond previously worked on legislation to create a Vulnerable Adult Abuse Registry, which is housed at the Oklahoma Attorney General's office.

"They came to me this year and said 'Hey, I know you've done some work on this in the past, had a great working relationship. Would you be interested and willing to carry the legislation this year to update some things and bring parity to the Medicaid fraud control unit?'" Miller said about a conversation with staff in the Attorney General's office.

She also said a constituent, Chalon Anderson, proposed several of the ideas.

"She's fantastic," Miller said about Anderson. "She's a retired professor at UCO, and she is really an expert and advocate for the aging population."

The final language in the bill accomplishes several items, but among them is a change to the statute of limitations of adult sexual abuse.

"It was the only category within our statutes that only had a 3-year statute of limitations," Miller said. "We brought it into parity with everything else on sexual abuse, so we brought that to the 12-year statute of limitations. That was a really big point in the bill."

Other parts increase penalties for Medicaid, and also lower the dollar threshold for prosecuting Medicaid fraud.

"This bill provides, in one way, the same protections that children have in Oklahoma," said Esther Houser, a member of the Silver-Haired Legislature. "Medicaid fraud is a serious crime and I am delighted to have these protections against it."

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