State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_143B > GS_143B-181_20

§ 143B‑181.20.  State/Regional Long‑TermCare Ombudsman; authority to enter; cooperation of government agencies;communication with residents.

(a)        The State and Regional Ombudsman may enter any long‑termcare facility and may have reasonable access to any resident in the reasonablepursuit of his function. The Ombudsman may communicate privately andconfidentially with residents of the facility individually or in groups. TheOmbudsman shall have access to the patient records as permitted under the OlderAmericans Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., and underprocedures established by the State Ombudsman pursuant to G.S. 143B‑181.18(6).Entry shall be conducted in a manner that will not significantly disrupt theprovision of nursing or other care to residents and if the long‑term carefacility requires registration of all visitors entering the facility, then theState or Regional Ombudsman must also register. Any State or Regional Ombudsmanwho discloses any information obtained from the patient's records except aspermitted under the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3001et seq., is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b)        The State or Regional Ombudsman shall identify himself assuch to the resident, and the resident has the right to refuse to communicatewith the Ombudsman.

(c)        The resident has the right to participate in planning anycourse of action to be taken on his behalf by the State or Regional Ombudsman,and the resident has the right to approve or disapprove any proposed action tobe taken on his behalf by the Ombudsman.

(d)        The State or Regional Ombudsman shall meet with the facilityadministrator or person in charge before any action is taken to allow thefacility the opportunity to respond, provide additional information, or takeappropriate action to resolve the concern.

(e)        The State and Regional Ombudsman may obtain from anygovernment agency, and this agency shall provide, that cooperation, assistance,services, data, and access to files and records that will enable the Ombudsmanto properly perform his duties and exercise his powers, provided thisinformation is not privileged by law.

(f)         If the subject of the complaint involves suspected abuse,neglect, or exploitation, the State or Regional Ombudsman shall notify thecounty department of social services' Adult Protection Services section of thecounty department of social services, pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 108A ofthe General Statutes. (1989, c. 403, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1038; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c);1995, c. 254, s. 4.)