Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Access for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Designees.


§ 7–703.01. Access to long-term care facilities.

(a) The operator of a long-term care facility shall permit the ombudsman or his or her designee access to the facility to:

(1) Visit, talk with, or make personal, social, or legal services available to all residents, or investigate complaints;

(2) Inform residents of their rights or entitlements, and corresponding obligations under applicable federal and District law by means of distribution of educational materials or discussion in groups and with individual residents;

(3) Assist residents in asserting their legal rights regarding claims for public assistance, medical assistance, social security benefits, or other matters in which residents are aggrieved; and

(4) Inspect all areas of the facility, except the living area of a resident who protests inspection.

(b) Access under this section shall be permitted to the ombudsman or his or her designee 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(c) Upon entering a long-term care facility in accordance with this section, the ombudsman or his or her designee shall promptly advise 1 of the following persons of his or her presence:

(1) The administrator or acting administrator;

(2) The residence director; or

(3) Another available supervisory agent of the facility.

(d) A person who has access under this section shall not enter the living area of a resident without identifying him or herself to the resident and receiving the permission of the resident to enter.

(e) A resident shall have the right to terminate, at any time, any visit by a person or representative of the program who has access under this section.

(f) Repealed.

(g) No resident shall be punished or harassed by the operator of a facility or an agent or employee of the operator of the facility because of efforts of the resident to avail himself or herself of his or her rights pursuant to this chapter.

(h) A written notice, prescribed by the ombudsman, that describes the rights of a resident pursuant to this chapter and the telephone number of the ombudsman shall be posted in a conspicuous place at or near the entrance to the long-term care facility and on each floor of the facility.

(i) The operator of a long-term care facility shall provide each resident a personal written copy of the notice required under subsection (h) of this section. Each new resident shall be provided a written copy of the notice upon admission.

(j) If a resident cannot read the notice required under subsection (h) of this section, the contents of the notice shall be communicated to that resident orally and in writing.

(k) The written notice required under subsection (h) of this section shall be provided in the appropriate language to those residents who do not speak or understand English.

(l) A notation that personal notice, as required by subsection (i) of this section, has been provided shall be entered in the clinical record of each resident.

(m) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict any right or privilege of a resident to receive a visitor who is not a representative of a community organization, legal services program, or the program.


(Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-218, § 301, 36 DCR 534; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-321, § 2(f), 57 DCR 12438.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-3521.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-702.06.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-321, in subsec. (b), substituted “to the ombudsman or his or her designee 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” for “between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily, unless the nature of the complaint requires investigation at other times”; and repealed subsec. (f), which had read as follows: “(f) A communication between a resident and a person who has access under this section shall be confidential, unless the resident authorizes the release of the communication.”


§ 7–703.02. Access to records.

(a) Each District agency shall provide cooperation, assistance, data, and the access to records necessary to enable the ombudsman to perform his or her duties under this chapter and other applicable federal and District law. This section shall not be construed to supercede the laws or rules governing access to unexpurgated arrest records maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department or interfere with ongoing criminal investigations.

(b) The ombudsman or his or her designee shall have the same access that is provided to the Mayor to review, inspect, or photocopy the records of a resident of a facility covered by § 44-501 et seq., or § 44-1001.01 et seq., to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The ombudsman or his or her designee may request a subpoena pursuant to § 1-301.21, to obtain access to records covered by this section.

(d) An owner, employee, or agent of a long-term care facility who lawfully discloses information or permits access to records pursuant to this section shall not be liable for civil penalties or criminal prosecution.

(e) An owner, employee, or agent of a long-term care facility or home care agency subject to 45 CFR §§ 164.500 through 164.534 (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy regulation), shall release records to the program as an exempt health oversight agency.


(Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-218, § 302, 36 DCR 534; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-321, § 2(g), 57 DCR 12438; Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-111, § 2(c), 59 DCR 455.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-3522.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-702.04 and § 7-704.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-321 added subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 19-111, in subsec. (e), substituted “long-term care facility or home care agency” for “long-term care facility”.

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 19-111 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. D.C. Law 19-111, § 3, was repealed by D.C. Law 19-168, § 7013.


§ 7–703.03. Visits to the home of a resident.

The Ombudsman may communicate and visit with a resident who receives home care services; provided, that the Ombudsman obtains permission from the resident or a representative of the resident to enter the resident’s home.


(Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-218, § 303; as added Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-111, § 2(d), 59 DCR 455.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section 3 of D.C. Law 19-111, see § 7013 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section 3 of D.C. Law 19-111, see § 7013 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 19-111 provided: “Sec. 3. Applicability. This act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.”

Section 3 of D.C. Law 19-111 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. D.C. Law 19-111, § 3, was repealed by D.C. Law 19-168, § 7013.