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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE II EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
    OF THE COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER 19A DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS
  • Section 31 Residents’ records; confidentiality; investigations; notice of actions and findings; notice of abuse

Section 31. The secretary shall establish procedures to protect the confidentiality of residents’ records and files. Such procedures shall meet the following requirements: (1) no information or records maintained by the ombudsman program shall be disclosed unless the ombudsman or his designee authorizes such disclosure; and (2) the ombudsman or his designee shall not disclose the identity of any complainant or resident of the long term care facility involved in any complaint unless the complainant or resident or a legal representative of either, consents in writing to such disclosure and specifies to whom the identity may be disclosed, or a court orders such disclosure.

The ombudsman or his designee may initiate his own investigation of any long term care facility independent of the receipt of specific complaint.

If the ombudsman or his designee determines that any act of any long term care facility may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare or rights of a resident of the facility, he shall make specific recommendations for the elimination or correction of such act. If the ombudsman or his designee determines that an act of any long term care facility may constitute a violation of any applicable federal or state statute or regulation, the ombudsman shall report such findings and conclusions to the regulatory agency or agencies having jurisdiction to enforce said statute or regulation or to the office of the attorney general.

Within a reasonable period of time after the completion of an investigation the ombudsman shall notify the long term care facility of his actions and findings.

The ombudsman or his designee shall notify the attorney general and the department of public health forthwith, upon the receipt of an oral or written report or complaint that a resident of a long-term care facility has been abused, mistreated or neglected as defined in section seventy-two F of chapter one hundred and eleven.