Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 51.5. Persons with Disabilities
Chapter 14. Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
10/26/2020

§ 51.5-183. Access to clients, patients, individuals, providers, and records by Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman; interference, retaliation, and reprisals against complainants. (2020 updated section)

A. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman pursuant to the Older Americans Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., shall, in the performance of its functions, responsibilities, and duties, have access to (i) licensed assisted living facilities and adult day care centers as those terms are defined in § 63.2-100, (ii) home care organizations as defined in § 32.1-162.7, (iii) hospice facilities as defined in § 32.1-162.1, (iv) certified nursing facilities and nursing homes as those terms are defined in § 32.1-123, (v) providers as defined in § 37.2-403, (vi) state hospitals operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and (vii) providers of services by an area agency on aging or any private nonprofit or proprietary agency providing services; the clients, patients, and individuals receiving services; and the records of such clients, patients, and individuals whenever the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman has the consent of the client, patient, or individual receiving services or his legal representative. However, if a client, patient, or individual receiving services is unable to consent to the review of his medical and social records and has no legal representative, and access to the records is necessary to investigate a complaint, access shall be granted to the extent necessary to conduct the investigation. Further, access shall be granted to the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman if a legal representative of the client, patient, or individual receiving services refuses to give consent and the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman has reasonable cause to believe that the legal representative is not acting in the best interests of the client, patient, or individual receiving services. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 32.1-125.1, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall have access to state hospitals in accordance with this section. Access to patients, residents, and individuals receiving services and their records and to providers shall be available at any time during a provider's regular business or visiting hours and at any other time when access is required by the circumstances to be investigated. Records that are confidential under federal or state law shall be maintained as confidential by the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and shall not be further disclosed, except as permitted by law. However, notwithstanding the provisions of this section, there shall be no right of access to privileged communications pursuant to § 8.01-581.17.

B. No provider, entity, or person may interfere with, retaliate against, or subject to reprisals a person who in good faith complains or provides information to, or otherwise cooperates with, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman or any of its representatives or designees. The Commissioner shall promulgate regulations regarding the investigation of allegations of interference, retaliation, or reprisals and the implementation of sanctions with respect to such interference, retaliation, or reprisals as required under the Older Americans Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq.

2020, c. 728.