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General Laws

Section 72F. As used in sections 72F to 72L, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

“Abuse”, the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, including verbal or mental abuse, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish or assault and battery; provided, however, that verbal or mental abuse shall require a knowing and willful act directed at a specific person.

“Facility”, an entity required to be licensed under section 71.

“Home health aide”, an employee of a home health agency or a hospice program who provides health services to individuals in a home setting.

“Home health agency”, an entity, however organized, whether conducted for profit or not for profit, which is advertised, announced, established or maintained for the purpose of providing health and homemaker services to individuals in a home setting.

“Homemaker”, an employee hired by a home health agency or a hospice program to perform homemaking tasks in an individual’s home, including the essential nutritional and environmental needs of the individual, such as, meal preparation, cleaning and laundry.

“Hospice program”, an entity required to be licensed under section 57D or a hospice service of a hospital licensed under section 51.

“Misappropriation of patient or resident property”, the deliberate misplacement, exploitation or wrongful, temporary or permanent use of a patient’s or resident’s belongings or money without such patient’s or resident’s consent.

“Mistreatment”, the use of medications or treatments, isolation, or physical or chemical restraints which harm or are likely to harm the patient or resident.

“Neglect”, failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness.

“Nurse aide”, an individual who is not a licensed health professional but is employed by a facility which provides nursing or nursing-related services to residents.

“Patient”, an individual who receives health, homemaker or hospice services at home from an individual employed by a home health agency or a hospice program.

“Religious accommodation”, no person shall be considered to be abused or neglected for the reason that such person, in accordance with his express or implied consent, is being furnished or relies upon treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with a religious method of healing in lieu of medical treatment.

“Resident”, an individual who resides in a long term care facility licensed under section 71.

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