State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_131E > GS_131E-124

§ 131E‑124. Enforcement and investigation; confidentiality.

(a)        The Department shall be responsible for the enforcement ofthe provisions of this Part. The Department shall investigate complaints madeto it and reply within a reasonable time, not to exceed 60 days, upon receiptof a complaint.

(a1)      When the Department receives a complaint alleging a violationof the provisions of this Part pertaining to patient care or patient safety,the Department shall initiate an investigation as follows:

(1)        Immediately upon receipt of the complaint if the complaintalleges a life‑threatening situation.

(2)        Within 24 hours if the complaint alleges abuse of a residentas defined by G.S. 131D‑20(1).

(3)        Within 48 hours if the complaint alleges neglect of aresident as defined by G.S. 131D‑20(8).

(4)        Within two weeks in all other situations.

Theinvestigation shall be completed within 30 days. The requirements of thissection are in addition to and not in lieu of any investigatory requirementsfor adult protective services pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 108A of theGeneral Statutes.

(b)        The Department is authorized to inspect patients' medicalrecords maintained at the facility when necessary to investigate any allegedviolation of this Part.

(c)        The Department shall maintain the confidentiality of allpersons who register complaints with the Department and of all medical recordsinspected by the Department. A person who has filed a complaint shall haveaccess to information about a complaint investigation involving a specificresident if written authorization is obtained from the resident, legalrepresentative, or responsible party. The designation of the responsible partyshall be maintained by the nursing facility in the resident's medical record.

(d)        Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1395 and G.S. 131E‑127, anursing home as defined in G.S. 131E‑101(6), is not in violation of anyapplicable statute, rule, or regulation for any action taken pursuant to aphysician's order when the physician has determined that the action is medicallynecessary. (1977, c. 897, s.1; 1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1999‑113, s. 3; 1999‑334, s. 1.9.)