PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
Monday, November 7, 2016

Cathleen D. Bennett
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Department of Health Proposes New Rules and an Amendment at N.J.A.C. 8:43E to Implement the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act

The Office of Certificate of Need and Healthcare Facility Licensure in the Division of Certificate of Need and Licensing within the Health Systems Branch of the Department of Health (Department) is proposing an amendment, at N.J.A.C. 8:43E-3.4, and new rules, at N.J.A.C. 8:43E-14, to implement the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act (Act).  This rulemaking is promulgated in consultation with the New Jersey Commission on Human Trafficking (“Commission”), and with the approval of the Health Care Administration Board.

The Act, among other mandates, establishes the Commission and directs the Department, in consultation with the Commission, to either develop, or approve for use, a “one-time training course on the handling and response procedures of suspected human trafficking activities for employees of every licensed health care facility,” and to establish standards identifying the health care facility employees who “are required, as a condition of their employment,” to receive the training.  The Act makes health care facility compliance with employee training a condition of license issuance, maintenance, and renewal.  The Department proposes to implement these mandates through rulemaking within existing N.J.A.C. 8:43E, the rules that contain “General Licensure Procedures and Standards Applicable to All Licensed Facilities.”

The Department proposes new rules at N.J.A.C. 8:43E-14, Human Trafficking Handling and Response Training.  The proposed new rules would establish standards for health care facility employee training in human trafficking handling and response procedures.  The Department has determined to approve two alternative programs for use in training facility employees in compliance with the Act.

The first approved training program is the online, web-based training offered by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) called “Modern Day Slavery in America: Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking in a Healthcare Context” (February 2016), which is available at https://traffickingresourcecenter.org/audience/service-providers.  This training is available without charge, and requires no special equipment or software other than a computer with speakers and internet access.  The running time of the presentation is approximately 30 minutes.

The second approved training program is called, “Stop. Observe. Ask. Respond to Human Trafficking (SOAR): A Training for Health Care and Social Service Providers,” which was developed by the Administration for Children and Families and the Office on Women’s Health of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  See http://www.acf.hhs.gov/endtrafficking/initiatives/soar.  The SOAR training informs health care and social services professionals how to identify, treat, and respond appropriately to potential victims of human trafficking who present in health care or social services settings.  The training is a more in-depth alternative to the NHTRC training described above and has the advantage of offering healthcare professionals continuing education and continuing medical education credits through the provider.  The three-hour course is offered without cost through either a traditional in-person classroom setting, or a live presentation in a scheduled online virtual classroom.

Existing N.J.A.C. 8:43E-3.4 identifies the civil monetary penalties applicable to health care facilities subject to the chapter for violations thereof.  The Department proposes to amend this section to establish a civil monetary penalty of $1,000 for violations of proposed new subchapter 14, to be assessable for each day noncompliance is found.

The proposal appears in the November 7, 2016, issue of the New Jersey Register.  Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit written comments either (1) electronically by January 6, 2017, to https://nj.gov/health/legal/ecomments.shtml or (2) by mail postmarked on or before January 6, 2017, to Genevieve Raganelli, Regulatory Officer, Deputy Administrative Practice Officer, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Office of the Commissioner, NJ Department of Health, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.

LexisNexis provides free online access to the New Jersey Register at http://www.lexisnexis.com/njoal.  An unofficial copy of the proposal is also available from the Department’s website at https://nj.gov/health/legal/rules/notice-of-rule-proposals/.

Last Reviewed: 11/7/2016