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Editor’s Note: Gov. Kristi Noem signed this bill into law on March 5, 2020.

South Dakota could join at least four other states where resident-initiated electronic monitoring is permitted in resident rooms of assisted living communities.

House Bill 1056, introduced Tuesday by state Rep. Tina Mulally (R), would allow residents or their authorized representatives to install a “video surveillance instrument with a closed loop recording camera.” The bill also applies to nursing homes.

A resident or his or her representative would need to notify the senior living community in writing of the intent to install a camera, and the resident / representative would be responsible for installing, operating and maintaining the equipment. Roommates, if applicable, would need to consent to the installation.

Tim Rave, CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, told McKnight’s that the organization sought input from providers and other key stakeholders to make sure resident privacy and dignity would be maintained.

“We feel this legislation will help set the guard rails to ensure that families residents and providers are all protected,” he said.

The bill is scheduled for a Jan. 21 hearing before the state House Health and Human Services Committee.

At least four states — Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas and Utah — have laws mandating that assisted living communities accommodate resident requests to install electronic monitoring equipment in their rooms. New Jersey also has a “Safe Care Cam” program that loans micro-surveillance equipment to healthcare consumers, including families of assisted living and nursing home residents.

The camera component of Minnesota’s law, covering assisted living and nursing homes, went into effect this month. Legislation applying to assisted living and nursing homes also is under consideration in Ohio.

At least six states — Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington — have “granny cam” laws that apply to nursing homes.