122C-206. Transfers of clients between 24-hour facilities; transfer of clients from 24-hour facilities to acute care hospitals.

(a) Before transferring a voluntary adult client from one 24-hour facility to another, the responsible professional at the original facility shall: (i) get authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the client; (ii) get consent from the client; and (iii) if consent to share information is granted by the client, or if the disclosure of information is permitted under G.S. 122C-53(b), notify the next of kin of the time and location of the transfer. The preceding requirements of this paragraph may be waived if the client has been admitted under emergency procedures to a State facility not serving the client's region of the State. Following an emergency admission, the client may be transferred to the appropriate State facility without consent according to the rules of the Commission.

(b) Before transferring a respondent held for a district court hearing or a committed respondent from one 24-hour facility to another, the responsible professional at the original facility shall:

(1) Obtain authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the respondent; and

(2) Provide reasonable notice to the respondent or the legally responsible person, and to the respondent's counsel, of the reason for the transfer and document the notice in the client's record.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the petitioner, the clerk of court, the respondent's counsel, and, if consent is granted by the respondent, or if the disclosure of the information is permitted under G.S. 122C-53 or other applicable law, the next of kin, that the transfer is complete. If the transfer is completed before the judicial commitment hearing, these proceedings shall be initiated by the receiving facility. If the respondent is a minor, an incompetent adult, or is deemed incapable, then the responsible professional at the original facility shall, not later than 24 hours after the transfer, notify the respondent's legally responsible person of the location of the transfer and that the transfer is complete.

(c) Minors and incompetent adults, admitted pursuant to Parts 3 and 4 of this Article, may be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another following the same procedures specified in subsection (b) of this section. In addition, the legally responsible person shall be consulted before the proposed transfer and notified, within 24 hours after the transfer is complete, of the location of the transfer and that the transfer is complete. If the transfer is completed before the judicial determination required in G.S. 122C-223 or G.S. 122C-232, these proceedings shall be initiated by the receiving facility.

(c1) If a client described in subsections (b) or (c) of this section is to be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another, or to an acute care hospital pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, and transportation is needed, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the clerk of court or magistrate, and the clerk of court or magistrate shall issue a custody order for transportation of the client as provided by G.S. 122C-251.

(d) Minors and incompetent adults, admitted pursuant to Part 5 of this Article and incapable adults admitted pursuant to Part 2A of this Article, may be transferred from one 24-hour facility to another provided that prior to transfer the responsible professional at the original facility shall:

(1) Obtain authorization from the receiving facility that the facility will admit the client; and

(2) Provide reasonable notice to the client regarding the reason for transfer and document the notice in the client's record; and

(3) Provide reasonable notice to and consult with the legally responsible person regarding the reason for the transfer and document the notice and consultation in the client's record.

No later than 24 hours after the transfer, the responsible professional at the original facility shall notify the legally responsible person that the transfer is completed.

(e) The responsible professional may transfer a client from one 24-hour facility to another or to an acute care hospital for emergency medical treatment, emergency medical evaluation, or emergency surgery without notice to or consent from the client. Within a reasonable period of time the responsible professional shall notify the next of kin or the legally responsible person of the client of the transfer.

(f) When a client is transferred from one 24-hour facility to another solely for medical reasons, the client shall be returned to the original facility when the medical care is completed unless the responsible professionals at both facilities concur that discharge of the client who is not subject to G.S. 122C-266(b) is appropriate.

(f1) When a client is transferred from a 24-hour facility to an acute care hospital solely for medical reasons, the hospital shall return the client to the original facility as soon as the next client space becomes available at the original facility after completion of the client's medical care. With the exception of facility-based crisis centers, the original facility must allow at least 12 hours for the client's return before assigning the client's room or bed to another patient, unless both facilities agree that return of the client in this time period is not feasible. The original facility must accept the return of the client in priority over other clients seeking admission, except in the cases of patients designated incapable to proceed to trial by court order. If the responsible professionals at both facilities concur that discharge of a client who is not subject to G.S. 122C-266(b) is appropriate, the client may be discharged. If, at the time of the transfer, a client is being held under a custody order pending a second commitment examination or a district court hearing under involuntary commitment proceedings, the custody order shall remain valid throughout the period of time necessary to complete the client's medical care and transport the client between the 24-hour facility and the acute care hospital; provided, however, that the requirement for a timely hearing under G.S. 122C-268(a) applies. Any decision to terminate the proceedings because the respondent no longer meets the criteria for commitment or because a hearing cannot be held within the time required by G.S. 122C-268(a) shall be documented and reported to the clerk of superior court in accordance with G.S. 122C-266(c).

(g) The Commission may adopt rules to implement this section. (1919, c. 330; C.S., s. 6163; 1925, c. 51, s. 1; 1945, c. 925, s. 5; 1947, c. 537, s. 9; c. 623, s. 1; 1953, c. 675, s. 15; 1955, c. 1274, s. 1; 1959, c. 1002, s. 11; 1963, c. 1166, ss. 10, 12; 1973, c. 475, s. 1; c. 476, s. 133; c. 673, ss. 7, 8; c. 1436, ss. 6, 7; 1977, c. 679, s. 7; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; c. 328, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 863, s. 15; 1991, c. 704, s. 1; 2018-33, s. 9.)