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Georgia State Code
Title      31
Chapter       8  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 40    
    41 ... 52           53 ... 62    
    63 ... 88        100 ... 109   
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   132 ... 151       152 ... 158   
   159 ... 184     
Section<<< 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 >>>  
Title 31, Chapter 8, Section 55 (31-8-55)

(a) The state ombudsman or community ombudsman, on his or her initiative or in response to complaints made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities, may conduct investigations in matters within his or her powers and duties as provided by this article.

(b) The state ombudsman or community ombudsman shall have the authority to enter any long-term care facility and shall use his or her best efforts to enter such facility during normal visiting hours. Upon entering the long-term care facility, the ombudsman shall notify the administrator or, in the absence of the administrator, the person in charge of the facility, before speaking to any residents. After notifying the administrator or the person in charge of the facility, the ombudsman may communicate privately and confidentially with residents of the facility, individually or in groups. The ombudsman shall have access to the medical and social records of any resident if:

(1) The ombudsman has the permission of the resident or the legal representative or guardian of the resident;

(2) The resident is unable to consent to the review and has no legal representative or guardian; or

(3) There is a guardian of the person of the resident and that guardian refuses to permit access to the records necessary to investigate a complaint, and:

(A) There is reasonable cause to believe that the guardian is not acting in the best interests of the resident; and

(B) A community ombudsman obtains the approval of the state ombudsman.

As used in this Code section, the term "legal representative" means an agent under a valid power of attorney, provided that the agent is acting within the scope of his or her agency; an agent under a durable power of attorney for health care; or an executor, executrix, administrator, or administratrix of the estate of a deceased resident. The ombudsman shall have the authority to inspect the physical plant and have access to the administrative records, policies, and documents of the facility to which the residents have or the general public has access. Entry and investigation provided by this Code section shall be conducted in a manner which will not significantly disrupt the provision of nursing or other care to residents.

(c) The state ombudsman or community ombudsman shall identify himself or herself as such to the resident, and the resident shall have the right to communicate or refuse to communicate with the ombudsman.

(d) The resident shall have the right to participate in planning any course of action to be taken on his or her behalf by the state ombudsman or community ombudsman, and the resident shall have the right to approve or disapprove any proposed action to be taken on his or her behalf by such ombudsman. (e) The state ombudsman and community ombudsman shall have authority to obtain from any government agency, and such agency shall provide, such cooperation and assistance, services, data, and access to files and records as will enable the ombudsman properly to perform his or her duties and exercise his or her powers, provided such information is not privileged under any law.

(f) Where the subject of the investigation involves suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident by his or her guardian, the state ombudsman or community ombudsman shall have the authority to communicate with the resident in a private and confidential setting notwithstanding any objection by the guardian to such meeting and communication.

Sunday May 24 19:10 EDT


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