2010 Tennessee Code
Title 33 - Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Chapter 3 - General Rules Applicable to Service Recipients
Part 3 - Transfers of Residential Service Recipients
33-3-301 - Transfer between facilities.

33-3-301. Transfer between facilities.

(a)  The commissioner may authorize the transfer of a person in a facility of the department to another department facility or to a private facility under this section. The commissioner shall give due consideration to the relationship of the person to family, guardian, conservator, and friends so as to maintain relationships and encourage visitation beneficial to the person. If a person whose transfer is authorized has been admitted or committed by court order, a certified copy of the court order shall be sent to the facility to which the person is transferred.

(b)  (1)  If the commissioner determines that a person could more properly be cared for and treated in a facility other than the one in which the person is a service recipient and that the transfer is in the person¬ís best interest, the commissioner may authorize the person to be transferred for an indefinite period to another department facility. The person may be transferred to a secure facility, if, and only if, in addition, the commissioner determines that the person is substantially likely to injure the person or others if not treated in a secure facility. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any transfer to a developmental center authorized under this section shall not exceed forty-five (45) days unless the transfer complies with department rules.

     (2)  Before a transfer is authorized, the person shall be given a physical examination by a licensed physician and a mental assessment and evaluation by a qualified professional, and complete written reports of the examination, assessment, and evaluation shall be forwarded to the commissioner by the chief officer who recommends the transfer. The reports and the chief officer's recommendation shall each include a certification that the transfer is in the person's best interests and a statement of the reasons for the conclusion.

     (3)  The chief officer, upon recommending transfer, shall immediately give personal notice of the recommendation by telephone or otherwise to the person's spouse, parent, adult child, legal guardian, or conservator, if any, and to the person. No person may be transferred less than twenty-four (24) hours after the notices required by this subdivision (b)(3) have been given, unless the person's spouse, parent, adult child, or legal guardian or conservator, if any, has agreed to the transfer or unless a diligent attempt by the chief officer to give notice is unsuccessful.

     (4)  The commissioner, upon authorizing transfer, shall immediately give to the person's spouse, parent, or adult child, legal guardian or conservator, if any, the committing court, if any, and to the service recipient written notice of the decision and a complaint form for review of transfer in the circuit court under part 7 of this chapter. The person may then be transferred immediately.

(c)  (1)  If the commissioner determines, upon the recommendation of the chief officer who requests a transfer, that:

          (A)  A person requires emergency care and treatment that cannot be provided by the transferring facility; and

          (B)  The transfer is in the person¬ís best interest, the commissioner may authorize the person to be transferred immediately to another department facility. The person may be transferred to a secure facility, if, and only if, in addition, the commissioner determines that the person is substantially likely to injure such person or others if not treated in a secure facility.

     (2)  If the commissioner approves the emergency transfer, the commissioner shall notify the chief officers of the transferring and receiving facilities. The chief officer of the transferring facility shall then have the person transferred immediately. A bed shall remain open at the transferring facility for seventy-two (72) hours after the transfer for the readmission of the person.

     (3)  Within seventy-two (72) hours after the transfer, the chief officer of the receiving facility shall determine whether the transfer was appropriate. If the chief officer determines that the transfer was not appropriate, the chief officer shall return the person to the sending facility. If the chief officer determines that the transfer was appropriate, the chief officer shall immediately give the person written notice of the decision.

     (4)  The transfer shall not exceed thirty (30) days, after which the chief officer shall return the person to the facility from which the person came.

     (5)  If the chief officer of the receiving facility determines that the person requires treatment beyond the thirty-day period, the chief officer shall notify the person in writing and apply for indeterminate transfer under subsection (b). The person shall remain in the receiving facility unless the commissioner denies the application for transfer. If the commissioner denies the application, the chief officer of the receiving facility shall have the person transferred to the sending facility immediately.

(d)  A person may be transferred from a state facility to a licensed private facility or from a licensed private facility to a state facility, upon proper application, approval of the sending and receiving facilities, and written notice to the committing court, if the person is committed. Once transferred, the person is lawfully admitted to the receiving facility, and the facility may retain the person under the authority of the admission or order applicable to the facility from which the person was transferred.

[Acts 1965, ch. 38, § 4(a); 1974, ch. 802, § 22; 1975, ch. 248, § 7; modified; Acts 1976, ch. 763, § 1; Acts 1978, ch. 533, § 4; T.C.A., § 33-309; Acts 1984, ch. 922, § 4; 2000, ch. 947, §§ 1, 6; 2009, ch. 531, § 35.]  

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