§ 23-17.5-17. Transfer to another facility.
(a) Before transferring a patient to another facility or level of care within a facility, the patient shall be informed of the need for the transfer and of any alternatives to the transfer.
(b) A patient shall be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, or for the patient's welfare or that of other patients or for nonpayment of the patient's stay. A facility seeking to discharge a patient for nonpayment of the patient's stay must, if the patient has been a patient of the facility for thirty (30) days or longer, provide the patient and, if known, a family member or legal representative of the patient, with written notice of the proposed discharge thirty (30) days in advance of the discharge.
(c) The patient may file an appeal of the proposed discharge with the state agency designated for hearing such appeals, and if the appeal is received by that agency within ten days after the date of written notice, the patient may remain in the facility until the decision of the hearing officer. For appeals where the patient remains in the facility:
(i) Any hearing on the appeal shall be scheduled no later than thirty (30) days after the receipt by the state agency of the request for appeal;
(ii) No more than one request for continuance by the patient shall be permitted and, if granted, the hearing on the appeal must be rescheduled for a date and time no later than forty (40) days after the receipt by the state agency of the request for appeal; and
(iii) The decision of the hearing officer shall be rendered as soon as possible, but in any event within five (5) days after the date of the hearing.
(d) Reasonable advance notice of transfers to health care facilities other than hospitals shall be given to ensure orderly transfer or discharge and those actions shall be documented in the medical record.
(e) In the event that a facility seeks a variance from the required thirty (30) day notice of closure of the facility, reasonable advance notice of the hearing for the variance shall be given by the facility to the patient, his or her guardian, or relative so appointed or elected to be his or her decision-maker, and an opportunity to be present at the hearing shall be granted to the designated person.
(f) In the event of the voluntary closure of a facility, which closure is the result of a variance from the required thirty (30) day notice of closure, granted by the director of the department of health, reasonable advance notice of the closure shall be given by the facility to the patient, his or her guardian, or relative so appointed or elected to be his or her decision-maker.
(g) Nothing herein shall be construed to relieve a patient from any obligation to pay for the patient's stay in a facility.
(P.L. 1978, ch. 235, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 240, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 5, § 3.)