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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 30: Access to facility by ombudsman or designee; purpose; access to residents' records

Section 30. The state nursing home ombudsman or his designee, as defined in section twenty-seven, shall have the right of entry into long term care facilities at any time considered necessary and reasonable by the ombudsman or the designee for the purpose of:

(a) investigating and resolving through administrative action complaints made by residents or on their behalf;

(b) interviewing residents, with their consent, in private;

(c) offering the services of the ombudsman or designee to any resident, in private;

(d) interviewing employees or agents of the long term care facility;

(e) consulting regularly with the facility administration; and

(f) providing services authorized by law or by regulation.

The state nursing home ombudsman or his designee shall have access to any resident's records, and to records of any public agency necessary to the duties of the office, including records on patient abuse complaints, provided, however, that the resident or his legal representative has given written authorization to allow such access to the state nursing home ombudsman or his designee. If said ombudsman or his designee reasonably believes that a complaint situation exists which may only be resolved by the inspection of the resident's personal, financial or medical records, and if the resident lacks the capacity to give informed consent, and the resident has no legal representative, the said ombudsman or his designee shall have access to the records of the resident without the resident's written authorization.