This legislation is unique to Montgomery County Maryland and only applies to facilities within that county. It differs from the Maryland Family Council Law in that it included Assisted Living Facilities as well as Nursing Homes.

Legal Code of Montgomery County
Bill no. 35.02
Introduced:  October 22, 2002
Revised:  November 26, 2002
Enacted:  November 26, 2002
Effective:  March 6, 2003


Sec. 25-24A. Family councils.

     (a)     In this Section, “nursing home” includes nursing homes (as defined in Section 25-1) and any other facility in the County that is:

          (1)     required to be licensed under State law as a:

               (A)     comprehensive and extended care facility; or

               (B)     licensed assisted living facility; or

          (2)     subject to sections 1395i-3 or 1396r of Title 42 of the United States Code.

     (b)     Each nursing home must comply with federal law and regulations, including the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, that protect the rights of residents and their families and representatives to associate and to participate in resident and family groups, such as a family council.  This requirement applies even if the nursing home is not otherwise subject to the federal law.

     (c)     The nursing home must consider and respond in writing to any written grievance or other written communication from a family council within 10 days after receiving the communication. 

     (d)     The nursing home must maintain a “regulatory” file and a “public” file containing duplicate copies of each communication and response described in subsection (c).  Copies of the records in the regulatory file must be complete and unedited.  The same records in the public file must delete any information that identifies an individual resident.

          (1)     A resident or prospective resident, or any person representing either, may review the public file during normal business hours and at any other time that the nursing home agrees to make the file available.

          (2)     The nursing home promptly must comply with a request by a licensing authority or the County’s Long-Term-Care Ombudsman to review any record in either file.

     (e)     The nursing home must give each new or prospective resident the following written information provided by the family council:

          (1)     the name, address, and phone number of a current member of the family council;

          (2)     a brief description of the purpose and function of the family council; and

          (3)     instructions on how the resident or prospective resident may review the files described in subsection (d).  (2002 L.M.C., ch. 36, § 1.)