(a) A facility must comply with the provisions of Chapter 250 of the Health and Safety Code (relating to Criminal History Checks of Employees and Applicants for Employment in Certain Facilities Serving the Elderly or Persons with Disabilities).
(b) Before a facility hires an employee, the facility must search the employee misconduct registry (EMR) established under §253.007, Health and Safety Code, and DADS nurse aide registry (NAR) to determine if the individual is designated in either registry as unemployable. Both registries can be accessed on the DADS Internet website.
(c) A facility is prohibited from hiring or continuing to employ a person who is listed in the EMR or NAR as unemployable.
(d) A facility must provide notification about the EMR to an employee in accordance with §93.3 of this title (relating to Employment and Registry Information).
(e) In addition to the initial search of the NAR and the EMR, a facility must conduct a search of the NAR and the EMR to determine if the employee is designated in either registry as unemployable as follows:
(1) for an employee most recently hired before September 1, 2009, by August 31, 2011 and at least every twelve months thereafter;
(2) for an employee most recently hired on or after September 1, 2009, at least every twelve months; and
(3) keep a copy of the results of the initial and annual searches of the NAR and EMR in the employee's personnel file.
(a) Procedures for inspection of public records will be in accordance with the Texas Open Records Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 6252-17a, and as further described in this section.
(b) Long Term Care — Regulatory, Texas Department of Human Services (DHS), will be responsible for the maintenance and release of records on licensed facilities, and other related records.
(c) The application for inspection of public records is subject to the following criteria.
(1) The application must be made to Long Term Care - Regulatory, Texas Department of Human Services, P.O. Box 149030 (E-349), Austin, Texas 78714-9030.
(2) The requestor must identify himself/herself.
(3) The requestor must give reasonable prior notice of the time for inspection and/or copying of records.
(4) The requestor must specify the records requested.
(5) On written applications, if the bureau is unable to ascertain the records being requested, the bureau may return the written application to the requestor for further specificity.
(6) DHS must provide the requested records as soon as possible. However, if the records are in active use, or in storage, or time is needed for proper deidentification or preparation of the records for inspection, DHS must so advise the requestor and set an hour and date within a reasonable time when the records will be available.
(d) Original records may be inspected or copied, but in no instance will original records be removed from department offices.
(e) Records maintained by the bureau are open to the public, with the following exceptions:
(1) incomplete reports, audits, evaluations, and investigations made of, for, or by the department are confidential;
(2) reports of abuse and neglect are confidential;
(3) all names and related personal, medical, or other identifying information about a resident are confidential;
(4) information about any identifiable person which is defamatory or an invasion of privacy is confidential;
(5) information identifying complainants or informants is confidential;
(6) itineraries of surveys and inspections are confidential; and
(7) to implement this subsection, the bureau may not alter or deidentify original records. Instead, the bureau will make available for public review or release only a properly deidentified copy of the original record.
(f) Charging for copies of records must be in accordance with the following criteria.
(1) If the requestor simply wants to inspect records, the requestor will specify the records to be inspected and the bureau will make no charge for this service, except where the bureau chief determines that a charge is appropriate based on the nature of the request.
(2) If the requestor wants to request copies of a record, the requestor will specify in writing the records to be copied on an appropriate DHS form, and DHS will complete the form by specifying the cost of the records which the requestor must pay in advance. Checks and other instruments of payment will be made payable to the Texas Department of Human Services.
(3) Any expenses for standard-size copies incurred in the reproduction, preparation, or retrieval of records must be borne by the requestor on a cost basis in accordance with costs established by the State Purchasing and General Services Commission or the department for office machine copies.
(4) For documents that are mailed, the department will charge for the postage at the time it charges for the reproduction. All applicable sales taxes will be added to the cost of copying records.
(5) When a request involves more than one facility, each facility will be considered a separate request.
(g) The bureau will make a reasonable effort to furnish records promptly and will extend to the requestor all reasonable comfort and facility for the full exercise of the rights granted by the Open Records Act.
(a) Resident's bill of rights.
(1) Each assisted living facility must post the resident's bill of rights, as provided by the department, in a prominent place in the facility and written in the primary language of each resident. A copy of the Resident's Bill of Rights must be given to each resident.
(2) A resident has all the rights, benefits, responsibilities, and privileges granted by the constitution and laws of this state and the United States, except where lawfully restricted. The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal in exercising these civil rights.
(3) Each resident in the assisted living facility has the right to:
(A) be free from physical and mental abuse, including corporal punishment or physical and chemical restraints that are administered for the purpose of discipline or convenience and not required to treat the resident's medical symptoms. A provider may use physical or chemical restraints only if the use is authorized in writing by a physician or the use is necessary in an emergency to protect the resident or others from injury. A physician's written authorization for the use of restraints must specify the circumstances under which the restraints may be used and the duration for which the restraints may be used. Except in an emergency, restraints may only be administered by qualified medical personnel;
(B) participate in activities of social, religious, or community groups unless the participation interferes with the rights of others;
(C) practice the religion of the resident's choice;
(D) if mentally retarded, with a court-appointed guardian of the person, participate in a behavior modification program involving use of restraints, consistent with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, or adverse stimuli only with the informed consent of the guardian;
(E) be treated with respect, consideration, and recognition of his or her dignity and individuality, without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or source of payment. This means that the resident:
(i) has the right to make his/her own choices regarding personal affairs, care, benefits, and services;
(ii) has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and
(iii) if protective measures are required, has the right to designate a guardian or representative to ensure the right to quality stewardship of his/her affairs;
(F) a safe and decent living environment;
(G) not be prohibited from communicating in his or her native language with other residents or employees for the purpose of acquiring or providing any type of treatment, care, or services;
(H) complain about the resident's care or treatment. The complaint may be made anonymously or communicated by a person designated by the resident. The provider must promptly respond to resolve the complaint. The provider must not discriminate or take other punitive action against a resident who makes a complaint;
(I) receive and send unopened mail, and the provider must ensure that the resident's mail is sent and delivered promptly;
(J) unrestricted communication, including personal visitation with any person of the resident's choice, including family members and representatives of advocacy groups and community service organizations, at any reasonable hour;
(K) make contacts with the community and to achieve the highest level of independence, autonomy, and interaction with the community of which the resident is capable;
(L) manage his or her financial affairs. The resident may authorize in writing another person to manage his/her money. The resident may choose the manner in which his/her money is managed, including a money management program, a representative payee program, a financial power of attorney, a trust, or a similar method, and the resident may choose the least restrictive of these methods. The resident must be given, upon request of the resident or the resident's representative, but at least quarterly, an accounting of financial transactions made on his or her behalf by the facility should the facility accept his or her written delegation of this responsibility to the facility in conformance with state law;
(M) access the resident's records, which are confidential and may not be released without the resident's consent, except;
(i) to another provider, if the resident transfers residence; or
(ii) if the release is required by another law;
(N) choose and retain a personal physician and to be fully informed in advance about treatment or care that may affect the resident's well-being;
(O) participate in developing his/her individual service plan that describes the resident's medical, nursing, and psychological needs and how the needs will be met;
(P) be given the opportunity to refuse medical treatment or services after the resident:
(i) is advised by the person providing services of the possible consequences of refusing treatment or services; and
(ii) acknowledges that he/she understands the consequences of refusing treatment or services;
(Q) unaccompanied access to a telephone at a reasonable hour or in case of an emergency or personal crisis;
(R) privacy, while attending to personal needs and a private place for receiving visitors or associating with other residents, unless providing privacy would infringe on the rights of other residents. This right applies to medical treatment, written communications, telephone conversations, meeting with family, and access to resident councils. If a resident is married and the spouse is receiving similar services, the couple may share a room;
(S) retain and use personal possessions, including clothing and furnishings, as space permits. The number of personal possessions may be limited for the health and safety of other residents;
(T) determine his or her dress, hair style, or other personal effects according to individual preference, except the resident has the responsibility to maintain personal hygiene;
(U) retain and use personal property in his or her immediate living quarters and to have an individual locked area (cabinet, closet, drawer, footlocker, etc.) in which to keep personal property;
(V) refuse to perform services for the facility, except as contracted for by the resident and operator;
(W) be informed by the provider no later than the 30th day after admission:
(i) whether the resident is entitled to benefits under Medicare or Medicaid; and
(ii) which items and services are covered by these benefits, including items or services for which the resident may not be charged;
(X) not be transferred or discharged unless:
(i) the transfer is for the resident's welfare, and the resident's needs cannot be met by the facility;
(ii) the resident's health is improved sufficiently so that services are no longer needed;
(iii) the resident's health and safety or the health and safety of another resident would be endangered if the transfer or discharge was not made;
(iv) the provider ceases to operate or to participate in the program that reimburses for the resident's treatment or care; or
(v) the resident fails, after reasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for services;
(Y) not be transferred or discharged, except in an emergency, until the 30th day after the date the facility provides written notice to the resident, the resident's legal representative, or a member of the resident's family, stating:
(i) that the facility intends to transfer or discharge the resident;
(ii) the reason for the transfer or discharge;
(iii) the effective date of the transfer or discharge;
(iv) if the resident is to be transferred, the location to which the resident will be transferred; and
(v) any appeal rights available to the resident;
(Z) leave the facility temporarily or permanently, subject to contractual or financial obligations;
(AA) have access to the State Ombudsman and a certified ombudsman; and
(BB) execute an advance directive, under the Advance Directives Act (Chapter 166, Health and Safety Code) or designate a guardian in advance of need to make decisions regarding the resident's health care should the resident become incapacitated.
(b) Provider's bill of rights.
(1) Each assisted living facility must post a providers' bill of rights in a prominent place in the facility.
(2) The providers' bill of rights must provide that a provider of assisted living services has the right to:
(A) be shown consideration and respect that recognizes the dignity and individuality of the provider and assisted living facility;
(B) terminate a resident's contract for just cause after a written 30-day notice;
(C) terminate a contract immediately, after notice to the department, if the provider finds that a resident creates a serious or immediate threat to the health, safety, or welfare of other residents of the assisted living facility. During evening hours and on weekends or holidays, notice to HHSC must be made to 1-800-458-9858;
(D) present grievances, file complaints, or provide information to state agencies or other persons without threat of reprisal or retaliation;
(E) refuse to perform services for the resident or the resident's family other than those contracted for by the resident and the provider;
(F) contract with the community to achieve the highest level of independence, autonomy, interaction, and services to residents;
(G) access patient information concerning a client referred to the facility, which must remain confidential as provided by law;
(H) refuse a person referred to the facility if the referral is inappropriate;
(I) maintain an environment free of weapons and drugs; and
(J) be made aware of a resident's problems, including self-abuse, violent behavior, alcoholism, or drug abuse.
Each facility will be notified of applicable new rules when the rules are filed with the Texas Register.
An assisted living facility must prominently and conspicuously post for display in a public area of the facility that is readily available to residents, employees, and visitors:
(1) the license issued under this chapter;
(2) a sign prescribed by HHSC that specifies complaint procedures established under these rules and specifies how complaints may be filed with HHSC;
(3) a notice in the form prescribed by HHSC stating that inspection and related reports are available at the facility for public inspection and providing HHSC toll-free telephone number that may be used to obtain information concerning the facility;
(4) a copy of the most recent inspection report relating to the facility;
(5) Resident Bill of Rights;
(6) Provider Bill of Rights;
(7) the telephone number of the managing local ombudsman and the toll-free number of the Ombudsman Program, 1-800-252-2412;
(8) the facility's normal 24-hour staffing patterns; and
(9) a sign stating: "Cases of Suspected Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation must be reported to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services by calling 1-800-458-9858".
(a) For the purposes of this section, a "self-release seat belt" is a seat belt on a resident's wheelchair that the resident demonstrates the ability to fasten and release without assistance. A self-release seat belt is not a restraint.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a facility must allow a resident to use a self-release seat belt if:
(1) the resident or the resident's legal guardian requests that the resident use a self-release seat belt;
(2) the resident consistently demonstrates the ability to fasten and release the self-release seat belt without assistance;
(3) the use of the self-release seat belt is documented in and complies with the resident's individual service plan; and
(4) the facility receives written authorization, signed by the resident or the resident's legal guardian, for the resident to use the self-release seat belt.
(c) A facility that advertises as a restraint-free facility is not required to allow a resident to use a self-release seat belt if the facility:
(1) provides a written statement to all residents that the facility is restraint-free and is not required to allow a resident to use a self-release seat belt; and
(2) makes reasonable efforts to accommodate the concerns of a resident who requests a self-release seat belt in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
(d) A facility is not required to continue to allow a resident to use a self-release seat belt in accordance with subsection (b) of this section if:
(1) the resident cannot consistently demonstrate the ability to fasten and release the seat belt without assistance;
(2) the use of the self-release seat belt does not comply with the resident's individual service plan; or
(3) the resident or the resident's legal guardian revokes in writing the authorization for the resident to use the self-release seat belt.
(a) A facility must permit a resident, or the resident's guardian or legal representative, to monitor the resident's room through the use of electronic monitoring devices.
(b) A facility may not refuse to admit an individual and may not discharge a resident because of a request to conduct authorized electronic monitoring.
(c) The Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) Information Regarding Authorized Electronic Monitoring form must be signed by or on behalf of all new residents upon admission. The form must be completed and signed by or on behalf of all current residents by October 1, 2004. A copy of the form must be maintained in the active portion of the resident's clinical record.
(d) A resident, or the resident's guardian or legal representative, who wishes to conduct AEM must request AEM by giving a completed, signed, and dated DHS Request for Authorized Electronic Monitoring form to the manager or designee. A copy of the form must be maintained in the active portion of the resident's clinical record.
(1) If a resident has the capacity to request AEM and has not been judicially declared to lack the required capacity, only the resident may request AEM, notwithstanding the terms of any durable power of attorney or similar instrument.
(2) If a resident has been judicially declared to lack the capacity required to request AEM, only the guardian of the resident may request AEM.
(3) If a resident does not have the capacity to request AEM and has not been judicially declared to lack the required capacity, only the legal representative of the resident may request AEM.
(A) A resident's physician makes the determination regarding the capacity to request AEM. Documentation of the determination must be made in the resident's clinical record.
(B) When a resident's physician determines the resident lacks the capacity to request AEM, a person from the following list, in order of priority, may act as the resident's legal representative for the limited purpose of requesting AEM:
(i) a person named in the resident's medical power of attorney or other advance directive;
(ii) the resident's spouse;
(iii) an adult child of the resident who has the waiver and consent of all other qualified adult children of the resident to act as the sole decision-maker;
(iv) a majority of the resident's reasonably available adult children;
(v) the resident's parents; or
(vi) the individual clearly identified to act for the resident by the resident before the resident became incapacitated or the resident's nearest living relative.
(e) A resident, or the resident's guardian or legal representative, who wishes to conduct AEM also must obtain the consent of other residents in the room, using the DHS Consent to Authorized Electronic Monitoring form. When complete, the form must be given to the manager or designee. A copy of the form must be maintained in the active portion of the resident's clinical record. AEM cannot be conducted without the consent of other residents in the room.
(1) Consent to AEM may be given only by:
(A) the other resident or residents in the room;
(B) the guardian of the other resident, if the resident has been judicially declared to lack the required capacity; or
(C) the legal representative of the other resident, determined by following the same procedure established under subsection (d)(3) of this section.
(2) Another resident in the room may condition consent on:
(A) pointing the camera away from the consenting resident, when the proposed electronic monitoring is a video surveillance camera; and
(B) limiting or prohibiting the use of an audio electronic monitoring device.
(3) AEM must be conducted in accordance with any limitation placed on the monitoring as a condition of the consent given by or on behalf of another resident in the room. The resident's roommate, or the roommate's guardian or legal representative, assumes responsibility for assuring AEM is conducted according to the designated limitations.
(4) If AEM is being conducted in a resident's room, and another resident is moved into the room who has not yet consented to AEM, the monitoring must cease until the new resident, or the resident's guardian or legal representative, consents.
(f) When the completed DHS Request for Authorized Electronic Monitoring form and the DHS Consent to Authorized Electronic Monitoring form, if applicable, have been given to the manager or designee, AEM may begin.
(1) Anyone conducting AEM must post and maintain a conspicuous notice at the entrance to the resident's room. The notice must state that the room is being monitored by an electronic monitoring device.
(2) The resident, or the resident's guardian or legal representative, must pay for all costs associated with conducting AEM, including installation in compliance with life safety and electrical codes, maintenance, removal of the equipment, posting and removal of the notice, or repair following removal of the equipment and notice, other than the cost of electricity.
(3) The facility must meet residents' requests to have a video camera obstructed to protect their dignity.
(4) The facility must make reasonable physical accommodation for AEM, which includes providing:
(A) a reasonably secure place to mount the video surveillance camera or other electronic monitoring device; and
(B) access to power sources for the video surveillance camera or other electronic monitoring device.
(g) All facilities, regardless of whether AEM is being conducted, must post an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch notice at the main facility entrance. The notice must be entitled "Electronic Monitoring" and must state, in large, easy-to-read type, "The rooms of some residents may be monitored electronically by or on behalf of the residents. Monitoring may not be open and obvious in all cases."
(h) A facility may:
(1) require an electronic monitoring device to be installed in a manner that is safe for residents, employees, or visitors who may be moving about the room, and meets all local and state regulations;
(2) require AEM to be conducted in plain view; and
(3) place a resident in a different room to accommodate a request for AEM.
(i) A facility may not discharge a resident because covert electronic monitoring is being conducted by or on behalf of a resident. If a facility discovers a covert electronic monitoring device and it is no longer covert as defined in §92.3 of this chapter (relating to Definitions), the resident must meet all the requirements for AEM before monitoring is allowed to continue.
(j) All instances of abuse or neglect must be reported to DHS, as required by §92.102 of this chapter (relating to Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Reportable to the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) by Facilities). For purposes of the duty to report abuse or neglect, the following apply:
(1) A person who is conducting electronic monitoring on behalf of a resident is considered to have viewed or listened to a tape or recording made by the electronic monitoring device on or before the 14th day after the date the tape or recording is made.
(2) If a resident, who has capacity to determine that the resident has been abused or neglected and who is conducting electronic monitoring, gives a tape or recording made by the electronic monitoring device to a person and directs the person to view or listen to the tape or recording to determine whether abuse or neglect has occurred, the person to whom the resident gives the tape or recording is considered to have viewed or listened to the tape or recording on or before the seventh day after the date the person receives the tape or recording.
(3) A person is required to report abuse based on the person's viewing of or listening to a tape or recording only if the incident of abuse is acquired on the tape or recording. A person is required to report neglect based on the person's viewing of or listening to a tape or recording only if it is clear from viewing or listening to the tape or recording that neglect has occurred.
(4) If abuse or neglect of the resident is reported to the facility and the facility requests a copy of any relevant tape or recording made by an electronic monitoring device, the person who possesses the tape or recording must provide the facility with a copy at the facility's expense. The cost of the copy must not exceed the community standard. If the contents of the tape or recording are transferred from the original technological format, a qualified professional must do the transfer.
(5) A person who sends more than one tape or recording to DHS must identify each tape or recording on which the person believes an incident of abuse or evidence of neglect may be found. Tapes or recordings should identify the place on the tape or recording that an incident of abuse or evidence of neglect may be found.