.09 Complaint Investigations.

A. To resolve expeditiously a complaint that alleges the existence of any non-life-threatening deficiency:

(1) The Department shall refer the complaint directly to the facility; and

(2) The facility shall:

(a) Conduct an internal investigation into the complaint; and

(b) Submit the investigation and supportive evidence to the Department within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint.

B. If the Department determines that the facility has not satisfactorily addressed the referred complaint or if the complaint alleges the existence of a serious or life-threatening deficiency, the Department shall conduct an independent investigation using the standards:

(1) Of the Joint Commission; or

(2) Adopted by the Secretary under this subtitle.

C. Issues relating to the practice of medicine or the licensure or conduct of a health professional shall be referred to the:

(1) Facility; and

(2) Appropriate licensure board for resolution.