131D-34.1.  Report of death of resident.

(a)        An adult care home shall notify the Department of Health and Human Services immediately upon the death of any resident that occurs in the adult care home or that occurs within 24 hours of the resident's transfer to a hospital if the death occurred within seven days of the adult care home's use of physical restraint or physical hold of the resident, and shall notify the Department of Health and Human Services within three days of the death of any resident of the adult care home resulting from violence, accident, suicide, or homicide. The Department may assess a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) against a facility that fails to notify the Department of a death and the circumstances surrounding the death known to the facility. Chapter 150B of the General Statutes governs the assessment of a penalty under this section. A civil penalty owed under this section may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Department or the Attorney General. The clear proceeds of the penalty shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in accordance with State law.

(b)        Upon receipt of notification from an adult care home in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the Department of Health and Human Services shall notify the State protection and advocacy agency designated under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act 2000, P.L. 106-402, that a person with a disability has died. The Department shall provide the agency access to the information about each death reported pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, including information resulting from any investigation of the death by the Department and from reports received from the Chief Medical Examiner pursuant to G.S. 130A-385. The agency shall use the information in accordance with its powers and duties under applicable State and federal law and regulations.

(c)        If the death of a resident of the adult care home occurs within seven days of the adult care home's use of physical restraint or physical hold, the Department shall initiate immediately an investigation of the death.

(d)       Nothing in this section abrogates State or federal law or requirements pertaining to the confidentiality, privilege, or other prohibition against disclosure of information provided to the Department or the agency. In carrying out the requirements of this section, the Department and the agency shall adhere to State and federal requirements of confidentiality, privilege, and other prohibitions against disclosure and release applicable to the information received under this section. A facility or provider that makes available confidential information in accordance with this section and with State and federal law is not liable for the release of the information.

(e)        The Secretary shall establish a standard reporting format for reporting deaths pursuant to this section and shall provide to facilities subject to this section a form for the facility's use in complying with this section. (2000-129, s. 6(a); 2007-323, ss. 19.1(i), 19.1(j).)