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General Laws

Section 72J. The department shall, subject to appropriation, establish and maintain a registry of all individuals who have met the federal requirements for competency contained in 42 USC § 1396r and have been certified as nurse aides for employment in a facility. A facility, other than a rest home, shall only hire or employ on a paid, unpaid, temporary or permanent basis, a nurse aide who is listed in said registry as having demonstrated competency as defined by department regulations.

The registry shall also contain specific documented findings, made in accordance with the provisions of this section, by the department of patient or resident abuse, mistreatment or neglect or misappropriation of patient or resident property involving: (1) an individual listed on the registry, (2) a home health aide, and (3) a homemaker and a brief statement by the individual disputing such findings. In the case of inquiries to the registry concerning a nurse aide, a home health aide or a homemaker, any information disclosed concerning such a finding shall also include disclosure of any statement in the registry relating to the finding or a clear and accurate summary of any such statement. All facilities, home health agencies and homemaker agencies shall contact the registry prior to hiring an employee to ascertain if there is any finding of patient or resident abuse, mistreatment, neglect or misappropriation of patient or resident property against a nurse aide, home health aide or homemaker. No facility, home health agency or homemaker agency shall hire an individual whose name appears in the registry with an adjudicated finding of patient or resident abuse, mistreatment, neglect or misappropriation of patient or resident property if such individual is under a suspension imposed by the department under the terms of this section.

The department shall, after notice to the nurse aide, home health aide or homemaker involved in an allegation of patient or resident abuse, mistreatment or neglect or misappropriation of patient or resident property and a reasonable opportunity for a hearing for the individual to rebut such allegations, make a finding as to the accuracy of the allegations. If the department finds that a nurse aide, home health aide or homemaker has abused, mistreated or neglected a patient or resident or misappropriated patient or resident property, said department shall notify the nurse aide, home health aide or homemaker and the employer thereof and the registry of such finding. The department shall not make a finding that an individual has neglected a patient or resident if the individual demonstrates that such neglect was caused by factors beyond the control of the individual. Upon making such finding, the department may suspend the right of such individual to work as a nurse aide, home health aide or homemaker. The department shall include the terms of any such suspension in the registry and no facility, home health agency or homemaker agency shall hire said individual until such suspension has been served to its completion.

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