Section 7: Ombudsman program; complaints
Section 7. Subject to the appropriation of funds therefore, the department may expand the scope of the ombudsman program defined in chapter nineteen A for the purpose of receiving and mediating complaints filed by assisted living residents, individuals acting on their behalf or an organization or government agency that has reason to believe that an assisted living residence has engaged in activities, practices or omissions that constitute violations of applicable statutes or regulations or that may have an adverse effect upon the health, safety, welfare or rights of residents of such residences. Any expansion of said program shall be defined by regulations that may include, but shall not be limited to, administrative procedures for the receipt, investigation and resolution of complaints, access to consenting residents and their records in such facilities, prevention of interference with the duties of the ombudsman program and a requirement that assisting the ombudsman program in its duties is a condition to maintaining certification as an assisted living residence. The nature and type of complaints handled by the ombudsman shall be made available to the department and its authorized designee, if applicable, as part of the certification review process established in section five.