122C-13. (This article has a contingent effective date - see note) State Consumer Advocate duties.

The State Consumer Advocate shall:

(1) Establish Local Quality Care Consumer Advocacy Programs described in G.S. 122C-14 and appoint the Local Consumer Advocates.

(2) Establish certification criteria and minimum training requirements for Local Consumer Advocates.

(3) Certify Local Consumer Advocates. The certification requirements shall include completion of the minimum training requirements established by the State Consumer Advocate.

(4) Provide training and technical Advocacy to Local Consumer Advocates.

(5) Establish procedures for processing and resolving complaints both at the State and local levels.

(6) Establish procedures for coordinating complaints with local human rights committees and the State protection and advocacy agency.

(7) Establish procedures for appropriate access by the State and Local Consumer Advocates to State, area authority, and county program facilities and records to ensure MH/DD/SA. The procedures shall include, but not be limited to, interviews of owners, consumers, and employees of State, area authority, and county program facilities, and on-site monitoring of conditions and services. The procedures shall ensure the confidentiality of these records and that the identity of any complainant or consumer will not be disclosed except as otherwise provided by law.

(8) Provide information to the public about available MH/DD/SA services, complaint procedures, and dispute resolution processes.

(9) Analyze and monitor the development and implementation of federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and policies relating to consumers and recommend changes as considered necessary to the Secretary.

(10) Analyze and monitor data relating to complaints or concerns about access and issues to identify significant local or systemic problems, as well as opportunities for improvement, and advise and assist the Secretary in developing policies, plans, and programs for ensuring that the quality of services provided to consumers is of a uniformly high standard.

(11) Submit a report annually to the Secretary, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, and the Joint Legislative Health Care Oversight Committee containing data and findings regarding the types of problems experienced and complaints reported by or on behalf of providers, consumers, and employees of providers, as well as recommendations to resolve identified issues and to improve the administration of MH/DD/SA facilities and the delivery of MH/DD/SA services throughout the State. (2001-437, s. 2; 2002-126, s. 10.30; 2003-284, s. 10.10; 2005-276, s. 10.27; 2011-291, s. 2.41.)