(A) The director of health shall receive, review, and investigate allegations of abuse or neglect of a resident or misappropriation of the property of a resident by any individual used by a long-term care facility or a residential care facility to provide services to residents.
(B) Allegations of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation may be presented orally or in writing. Oral and written allegations may be made to the Ohio department of health's division of quality assurance.
(C) Allegations shall be investigated by appropriately qualified individuals, as determined by the director. No long-term care facility or a residential care facility shall do any of the following in the course of an investigation by the director under this rule:
(1) Refuse to permit the director to enter the facility;
(2) Refuse to permit the director to interview employees or other personnel used by the facility, residents, or families of residents;
(3) Refuse to permit the director to review any record, medical or otherwise, kept by the facility; or
(4) Otherwise hinder the director's investigation of an allegation of abuse or neglect of a resident or misappropriation of property of a resident.
(D) If, after investigation, the director determines that there is a reasonable basis for an allegation, the director shall provide written notice to the accused in accordance with paragraphs (E) and (F) of this rule. The director also shall send a copy of the notice to any long-term care facility or a residential care facility that the director knows currently is using the accused to provide services.
(E) The written notice shall include all of the following items:
(1) A statement of the nature of the allegation;
(2) A statement advising the accused of his or her right to a hearing on the allegation and of the manner in which and time within which a hearing may be requested;
(3) An explanation that the director will report any finding that the accused abused or neglected a resident or misappropriated a resident's property to the following entity, as applicable:
(b) The appropriate licensure authority, if the accused is a licensed health professional; and
(4) A warning that if the accused fails to submit a written request for a hearing within thirty days after he or she receives or was deemed to have received the notice, the director may do both of the following:
(a) Make a finding adverse to the accused; and
(b) Pursuant to rule 3701-64-05 of the Administrative Code, report the finding to the nurse aide registry or appropriate licensure authority, whichever is applicable, the long-term care facility or a residential care facility where the incident occurred, any other long-term care facility or a residential care facility known by the director to be using the accused to provide services to residents at the time of his or her finding, and the appropriate law enforcement official.
(F) The director first shall provide the written notice to the accused by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by sending it by personal delivery to the accused.
(1) If a certified mail envelope is returned to the director with an endorsement which indicates that the letter was refused, the director may send the notice to the accused by ordinary mail. The notice shall be deemed to have been received by the accused three days after mailing. Failure by the accused to claim a certified mail notice is not refusal of the notice within the meaning of this paragraph.
(2) If a certified mail notice is returned to the director with an endorsement which shows that the envelope was unclaimed, the director then may send the notice to the accused by ordinary mail. The notice shall be deemed to have been received by the accused three days after mailing if the ordinary mail envelope is not returned with an endorsement showing failure of delivery.
(3) When the residence of the accused is unknown and cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence or when a notice which was sent by ordinary mail under paragraph (F)(2) of this rule is returned to the director for failure of delivery, the director shall publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the accused's last known residence. The newspaper notice shall be published at least once a week for three successive weeks, shall summarize the information required by paragraph (E) of this rule, and shall refer the accused to the Ohio department of health's division of quality assurance for additional information. The newspaper notice shall be deemed to have been received by the accused on the last date of publication.