Revision 07-1

 

 

§98.91 Definitions of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation

 

For purposes of this subchapter, the definitions of abuse, neglect and exploitation are those found in Chapter 48, Human Resources Code and §98.1 of this title (relating to Definitions).

 

§98.92 Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Reportable to DADS by Facilities

 

(a) Any facility staff who has reasonable cause to believe that a client is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation must report the abuse, neglect, or exploitation to DADS state office at 1-800-458-9858 and must follow the facility's internal policies regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

(b) The following information must be reported to DADS:

(1) name, age and address of the client;

(2) name and address of the person responsible for the care of the client, if available;

(3) nature and extent of the elderly or disabled person's condition;

(4) basis of the reporter's knowledge; and

(5) any other relevant information.

(c) The facility must investigate the alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation and send a written report of the investigation to DADS state office no later than the fifth day after the oral report and be available for inspection by DADS.

 

§98.93 Complaint Investigation

 

(a) A complaint is any allegation received by DADS regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a client, or a violation of state standards.

(b) DADS must give the facility notification of the complaint received and a summary of the complaint, without identifying the source of the complaint.

 

§98.94 Investigations of Complaints

 

(a) DADS only investigates complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation when the act occurs in the facility, when the licensed facility is responsible for the supervision of the client at the time the act occurs, or when the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with the facility. Other complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation not meeting this criteria must be referred to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(b) Complaint investigations must include a visit to the facility and consultation with persons thought to have knowledge of the circumstances. If the facility fails to admit DADS staff for a complaint investigation, DADS will seek a probate or county court order for admission. Investigators may request of the court that a peace officer accompany them.

(c) In cases concluded to be physical abuse, the written report of the investigation by DADS must be submitted to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(d) In cases concluded to be abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a client with a guardian, the written report of the investigation by DADS must be submitted to the probate or county court that oversees the guardianship.

 

§98.95 Confidentiality

 

All reports, records, communications, and working papers used or developed by DADS in an investigation are confidential and may be released only as provided in this section.

(1) The final written investigation report on cases may be furnished to the district attorney and appropriate law enforcement agencies if the investigation reveals abuse that is a criminal offense. DADS may provide to another state agency or governmental entity information that is necessary for DADS, state agency or entity to properly execute its duties and responsibilities to provide services to the elderly or disabled.

(2) The final written investigation report may be released to the public upon request provided the report is de-identified to remove all names and other personally identifiable data, including any information from witnesses and other person furnished to DADS as part of the investigation.

(3) The reporter and the facility will be notified of the results of DADS' investigation of a reported case of abuse, neglect or exploitation, whether DADS concluded that abuse, neglect or exploitation occurred or did not occur.

(4) Upon written request of the person who is the subject of the report of abuse, neglect or exploitation or his legal representative, DADS shall release to the person or his legal representative otherwise confidential information relating to the final report. The request must specify the information desired and be signed and dated by the individual or his legal representative. The legal representative of a deceased person may make a written request for this information. The legal representative of a deceased person must also specify the reason the information is requested. Any legal representative must include with the request sufficient documentation to establish his authority. DADS shall edit the information before release to protect the confidentiality of information related to the reporter's identify and to protect any other individual whose safety or welfare may be endangered by disclosure.