State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_131E > GS_131E-105

§ 131E‑105.  Inspections.

(a)        The Department shall inspect any nursing home and any adultcare home operated as a part of a nursing home in accordance with rules adoptedby the Commission.

(b)        Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 8‑53,"Communications between physician and patient," or any otherprovision of law relating to the confidentiality of communications betweenphysician and patient, the representatives of the Department, when necessaryfor investigating compliance with this Part or rules promulgated by theCommission, may review any writing or other record in any recording mediumwhich pertains to the admission, discharge, medication, treatment, medicalcondition, or history of persons who are or have been patients of the facilitybeing inspected unless that patient objects in writing to review of thatpatient's records. Physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and anyoneelse interviewed by representatives of the Department may disclose to theserepresentatives information related to any inquiry, notwithstanding theexistence of the physician‑patient privilege in G.S. 8‑53,"Communications between physician and patient," or any other rules oflaw, if the patient has not made written objection to this disclosure. Thefacility, its employees, and any person interviewed during these inspectionsshall be immune from liability for damages resulting from the disclosure of anyinformation which is provided without malice or fraud to the Department. Anyconfidential or privileged information received from review of records orinterviews shall be kept confidential by the Department and not disclosedwithout written authorization of the patient or legal representative or unlessdisclosure is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Departmentshall institute appropriate policies and procedures to ensure that thisinformation shall not be disclosed without authorization or court order. TheDepartment shall not disclose the name of anyone who has furnished informationconcerning a facility without consent of that person. Neither the names ofpersons furnishing information nor any confidential or privileged informationobtained from records or interviews shall be considered "publicrecords" within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1, "`Public records'defined." Prior to releasing any information or allowing any inspectionsreferred to in this subsection, the patient must upon admission be advised inwriting by the facility that the patient has the right to object in writing tothe release of information or review of the records and that by an objection inwriting the patient may prohibit the inspection or release of the records.

(c)        Authorized representatives of the Department withidentification to this effect shall have at all times the right of proper entryupon any and all parts of the premises of any place in which entry is necessaryto carry out the provisions of this Part or the rules adopted by theCommission. It shall be unlawful for any person to resist a proper entry by anauthorized representative upon any premises other than a private dwelling. (1981, c. 586, s. 1; c. 614, s. 1; 1983, c. 775, s. 1;1995, c. 535, s. 23.)