SB 6470 modifies duties of law enforcement and the Department of Social and Health Services regarding the possible occurrence of abuse or neglect of a child. Duties include immediately photographing or cause to be photographed any suspicious physical injuries for the purposes of preserving evidence of the child's condition at the time of the investigation and ensuring that a designated medical professional conducts a child abuse medical assessment within 48 hours or as soon as practically possible. Also, the law enforcement agency or department must make a reasonable effort to locate a designated medical professional. If one is not available to conduct a child abuse medical assessment within 48 hours, the child must be evaluated by an available physician or nurse practitioner. If the child is evaluated by a medical provider other than a designated medical professional, the evaluating medical provider must make photographs, clinical notes, diagnostic and testing results, and any other relevant materials available to the designated medical
The bill defines "child abuse medical assessment" as an assessment by or under the direction of a licensed physician or other licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of child abuse. "Child abuse medical assessment" includes the taking of a thorough medical history, a complete physical examination, and an interview for the purpose of making a medical diagnosis, determining whether or not the child has been abused, and identifying the appropriate treatment or referral for follow-up for the child. "Designated medical professional" means a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who has been trained to conduct child abuse medical assessments and who is regularly available to conduct child abuse medical assessments. The bill also specifically defines "suspicious physical injury."
Additionally, the bill requires county prosecuting attorneys to identify at least one designated medical professional to conduct child abuse medical assessments.
Further, SB 6470 requires the state to pay costs incurred by a hospital, child abuse clinic, or other emergency medical facility for certain child abuse medical assessments of a child with a
suspicious physical injury.