Article 8.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Certification Program.

§ 131E-165.  Title; purpose.

(a)        This Article shall be known as the "Cardiac Rehabilitation Certification Program."

(b)        The purpose of this Article is to provide for the development, establishment, and enforcement of rules and certification:

(1)        For the care and treatment of individuals in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs; and

(2)        For the maintenance and operation of cardiac rehabilitation programs to ensure safe and adequate treatment of individuals in cardiac rehabilitation programs. (1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1995, c. 182, s. 1.)


§ 131E-166.  Definitions.

As used in this Article, unless otherwise specified:

(1)        "Cardiac Rehabilitation Program" means a program certified under this Article for the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation services to outpatients and includes, but shall not be limited to, coordinated, physician-directed, individualized programs of therapeutic activity and adaption designed to assist the cardiac patient in attaining the highest rehabilitative potential.

(2)        "Certification" means the issuance of a certificate by the Department upon determination that cardiac rehabilitation services offered at a given program site meet all cardiac rehabilitation program rules. (1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1995, c. 182, s. 2.)


§ 131E-167.  Certificate requirement.

(a)        Applications for certification shall be available from the Department, and each application filed with the Department shall contain all necessary and reasonable information that the Department may by rule require. A certificate shall be granted to the applicant for a period not to exceed one year upon a determination by the Department that the applicant has substantially complied with the provisions of this Article and the rules promulgated by the Department under this Article. The Department shall charge the applicant a nonrefundable annual certification fee in the amount of three hundred eighty-five dollars ($385.00).

(b)        A provisional certificate may be issued for a period not to exceed six months to a program:

(1)        That does not substantially comply with the rules, when failure to comply does not endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the clients being served by the program;

(2)        During the initial stages of operation if determined appropriate by the Department.

(c)        Prior to offering a cardiac rehabilitation program as defined in this Article, such a program must be inspected, evaluated, and certified as having substantially met the rules adopted by the Department under this Article.

(d)       A certificate to operate a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program shall be renewed upon the successful re-evaluation of the program as stated in the rules adopted pursuant to this Article.

(e)        Each certificate shall be issued only for the premises and persons named in the application and shall not be transferable or assignable except with the written approval of the Department.

(f)        A certificate shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the certified premises.  (1983, c. 775, s. 1; 2003-284, s. 34.6(a); 2005-276, s. 41.2(f); 2009-451, s. 10.76(c).)


§ 131E-168.  Adverse action on a certificate.

(a)        Subject to subsection (b), the Department is authorized to deny a new or renewal certificate and to suspend or revoke an existing certificate upon determination that there has been a substantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Article or the rules promulgated under this Article.

(b)        The provisions of Chapter 150A of the General Statutes, the Administrative Procedure Act, shall govern all administrative action and judicial review in cases where the Department has taken the action described in subsection (a). (1983, c. 775, s. 1.)


§ 131E-169.  Rules and enforcement.

(a)        The Department is authorized to adopt, amend, and repeal all rules as may be designed to further the accomplishment of this Article.

(b)        The Department shall enforce the rules adopted for the certification of cardiac rehabilitation programs. (1983, c. 775, s. 1.)


§ 131E-170.  Inspections.

(a)        The Department shall make or cause to be made inspections of Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs as it deems necessary. The Department is empowered to delegate to a State officer, agent, board, bureau or division of State government the authority to make these inspections according to the rules promulgated by the Department. In addition, an individual who is not a State officer or agent and who is delegated the authority to make these inspections must be approved by the Department. The Department may revoke this delegated authority in its discretion.

(b)        Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 8-53, "Communications between physician and patient," or any other provision of law relating to the confidentiality of communications between physician and patient, the representatives of the Department who make these inspections may review any writing or other record in any recording medium which pertains to the admission, discharge, medication, treatment, medical condition, or history of persons who are or have been patients of the program being inspected unless that patient objects in writing to review of that patient's records. Physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, and anyone else involved in giving treatment at or through a program who may be interviewed by representatives of the  Department may disclose to these representatives information related to any inquiry, notwithstanding the existence of the physician-patient privilege in G.S. 8-53, "Communication between physician and patient," or any other rule of law, provided the patient has not made written objection to this disclosure. The program, its employees, and any person interviewed during these inspections shall be immune from liability for damages resulting from the disclosure of any information to the Department. Any confidential or privileged information received from review of records or interviews shall be kept confidential by the Department and not disclosed without written authorization of the patient or legal representative, or unless disclosure is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Department shall institute appropriate policies and procedures to ensure that this information shall not be disclosed without authorization or court order. The Department shall not disclose the name of anyone who has furnished information concerning a facility without the consent of that person. Neither the names of persons furnishing information nor any confidential or privileged information obtained from records or interviews shall be considered "public records" within the meaning of G.S. 132-1, "'Public records' defined." Prior to releasing any information or allowing any inspections referred to in this section, the patient must be advised in writing by the program that the patient has the right to object in writing to the release of information or review of the records and that by an objection in writing the patient may prohibit the inspection or release of the records. (1983, c. 775, s. 1.)


§§ 131E-171 through 131E-174.  Reserved for future codification purposes.