State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_122C > GS_122C-15

§ 122C‑15.  (This Articlehas a contingent effective date – see note) State/Local Consumer Advocate;authority to enter; communication with residents, clients, patients; review ofrecords.

(a)        For purposes ofthis section, G.S. 122C‑16 and G.S. 122C‑17, "ConsumerAdvocate" means either the State Consumer Advocate or any Local ConsumerAdvocate.

(b)        In performing theConsumer Advocate's duties, a Consumer Advocate shall have access at all timesto any State or area facility and shall have reasonable access to any consumeror to an employee of a State or area facility. Entry and access to any consumeror to an employee shall be conducted in a manner that will not significantlydisrupt the provision of services. If a facility requires visitor registration,then the Consumer Advocate shall register.

(c)        In performing theConsumer Advocate's duties, a Consumer Advocate may communicate privately andconfidentially with a consumer. A consumer shall not be compelled tocommunicate with a Consumer Advocate. When initiating communication, a ConsumerAdvocate shall inform the consumer of the Consumer Advocate's purpose and thata consumer may refuse to communicate with the Consumer Advocate. A ConsumerAdvocate also may communicate privately and confidentially with State and areafacility employees in performing the Consumer Advocate's duties.

(d)        NotwithstandingG.S. 8‑53, G.S. 8‑53.3, or any other law relating toconfidentiality of communications involving a consumer, in the course ofperforming the Consumer Advocate's duties, the Consumer Advocate may access anyinformation, whether recorded or not, concerning the admission, discharge,medication, treatment, medical condition, or history of any consumer to theextent permitted by federal law and regulations. Notwithstanding any State lawpertaining to the privacy of personnel records, in the course of the ConsumerAdvocate's duties, the Consumer Advocate shall have access to personnel recordsof employees of State, area authority, or county program facilities. (2001‑437, s. 2; 2002‑126,s. 10.30; 2003‑284, s. 10.10; 2005‑276, s. 10.27.)