Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 51.5. Persons with Disabilities
Chapter 14. Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
10/1/2020

§ 51.5-185. Protection for representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman; interference, retaliation, and reprisals. (2020 updated section)

A. Any designated representative of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman who in good faith with reasonable cause and without malice performs the official duties of ombudsman, including acting to report, investigate, or cause any investigation to be made regarding a long-term care provider, shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as the result of making the report or investigation.

B. No provider, entity, or person may interfere with, retaliate against, or subject to reprisals the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman or any of its representatives or designees for actions taken in fulfillment of its functions, responsibilities, or duties. 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.

C. The Department shall put in place mechanisms to ensure that the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman may (i) analyze, comment on, and monitor the development and implementation of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies and actions related to long-term care services and providers or to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals receiving long-term care services; (ii) recommend changes to such laws, regulations, and policies; and (iii) provide information, recommendations, and the position of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to public and private agencies, legislators, media, and other persons regarding concerns of individuals receiving long-term care services. Any comments, determinations, recommendations, and positions of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman shall be clearly labeled as those of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and shall not be binding on the Department.

2020, c. 728.