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Bill Number: 2368 Ratification Number: 486 Act Number 416 Introducing Body: House Subject: To change the name of the nursing home ombudsman
(A416, R486, H2368)
AN ACT TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE NURSING HOME OMBUDSMAN IN THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR TO OMBUDSMAN, TO PROVIDE FOR HIS DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES; TO DEFINE "FACILITY" AND TO REPEAL ACT 127 OF 1977 RELATING TO THE NURSING HOME OMBUDSMAN IN THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Section 1. For purposes of this act "facility" means public health centers and tuberculosis, mental, chronic disease and all other types of public or private hospitals and related facilities such as outpatient facilities, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, residential care facilities, facilities for persons with developmental disabilities and community mental health centers, including facilities for alcoholics and narcotic addicts but shall not include general hospitals which treat acute injuries or illnesses.
Ombudsman authorized to investigate complaints
Section 2. The ombudsman of the office of the Governor is hereby authorized to investigate any problem or complaint on behalf of any interested party or any client, patient, or resident of any facility as defined in this act. In carrying out any such investigation, he may request and receive written statements, documents, exhibits and other items pertinent to the investigation. Following any such investigation he may issue such report and recommendations as in his opinion will assist in improving the facility.
Departments, etc., to cooperate with ombudsman
Section 3. All departments, officers, agencies and employees of the State shall cooperate with the ombudsman in carrying out his duties pursuant to the provisions of this act.
Civil and criminal immunity
SECTION 4. Any person required or permitted to report pursuant to this act or who participates in judicial proceedings resulting therefrom, acting in good faith, shall be immune from civil and criminal liability which might otherwise result by reason of such actions. In all such civil or criminal proceedings good faith shall be rebuttably presumed.
Section 5. Provided, however, that this act shall not apply to any county operated County Home which is operated exclusively from county funds.
Section 6. Act 127 of 1977 is repealed.
Section 7. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.