.15 Abuse of Residents.

A. A nursing facility shall develop and implement policies and procedures prohibiting abuse and neglect of residents.

B. A nursing facility may not knowingly employ an individual who has been convicted of abusing or neglecting a resident or who has had a finding entered into the State Nurse Aide Registry concerning abuse or neglect of a resident or misappropriation of a resident's property.

C. Reports of Abuse.

(1) A person who believes that a resident has been abused shall promptly report the alleged abuse to the:

(a) Appropriate law enforcement agency;

(b) Licensing and Certification Administration within the Department; or

(c) The Office on Aging.

(2) An employee of a nursing facility who believes that a resident has been abused:

(a) Shall report the alleged abuse as set forth in §C(1) of this regulation within 3 days after learning of the alleged abuse;

(b) May be subject to a penalty imposed by the Secretary of up to $1,000 for failing to report an alleged abuse within 3 days after learning of the alleged abuse.

(3) An individual on whom a penalty has been imposed may request a hearing on the penalty by submitting a written request for a hearing to the Department on or before the 30th calendar day after the individual received notice of the imposition of the penalty.

(4) Upon receiving a request for a hearing under this section, the Secretary shall conduct a hearing in accordance with COMAR 10.01.03.

D. Investigations. A nursing facility shall:

(1) Thoroughly investigate all allegations of abuse; and

(2) Take appropriate action to prevent further incidents of abuse while the investigation is in progress, and after that.

E. Immunity from Civil Liability. An individual who, acting in good faith, makes a report under this regulation has immunity from liability described in Health-General Article, §19-347(g), Annotated Code of Maryland.