(a) A resident has the right to be visited by the State Ombudsman, a certified ombudsman, or an ombudsman intern.
(b) In accordance with the Older Americans Act, §712(b)(1)(A), and 45 CFR §1324.11(e)(2), a facility must allow:
(1) the State Ombudsman, a certified ombudsman, and an ombudsman intern to have:
(A) immediate, private, and unimpeded access to enter the facility at any time during the facility’s regular business hours or regular visiting hours;
(B) immediate, private, and unimpeded access to a resident; and
(C) immediate and unimpeded access to the name and contact information of the resident's legally authorized representative, if the State Ombudsman, a certified ombudsman, or an ombudsman intern determines the information is needed to perform a function of the Ombudsman Program; and
(2) the State Ombudsman and a certified ombudsman to have immediate, private, and unimpeded access to enter the facility at a time other than regular business hours or visiting hours, if the State Ombudsman or a certified ombudsman determines access may be required by the circumstances to be investigated.
(c) A facility, in accordance with the Older Americans Act, §712(b)(1)(B) and 45 CFR §1324.11(e)(2), must allow the State Ombudsman and a certified ombudsman to have immediate access to:
(1) all files, records, and other information concerning a resident, including an incident report involving the resident, if:
(A) the State Ombudsman or certified ombudsman has the consent of the resident or legally authorized representative;
(B) the resident is unable to communicate consent to access and has no legally authorized representative; or
(C) such access is necessary to investigate a complaint and the following occurs:
(i) the resident’s legally authorized representative refuses to give consent to access to the records, files, and other information;
(ii) the State Ombudsman or certified ombudsman has reasonable cause to believe that the legally authorized representative is not acting in the best interests of the resident; and
(iii) if it is the certified ombudsman seeking access to the records, files, or other information, the certified ombudsman obtains the approval of the State Ombudsman to access the records, files, or other information without the legally authorized representative’s consent; and
(2) the administrative records, policies, and documents of the facility to which the residents or general public have access.
(d) The rules adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 45 CFR part 164, subparts A and E, do not preclude a facility from releasing protected health information or other identifying information regarding a resident to the State Ombudsman or a certified ombudsman if the requirements of subsections (b)(1)(C) and (c)(1) of this section are otherwise met. The State Ombudsman and a certified ombudsman are each a "health oversight agency" as that phrase is defined in 45 CFR §164.501.