Current as of: 2010
(a) Immediately upon the fixing of the amount of actual cost, a cause of action shall accrue for the costs in favor of the State for the use of the institution in which the person admitted received care against the person admitted or person legally responsible for paying the costs.
(b) The State for the use of the institution may sue upon the cause of action in the courts of Wake County, in the courts of the county in which the institution is located, or in the courts of the county where the defendant resides.
(c) In any action to recover the cost of care, a verified and itemized statement of the account signed by the reimbursement director of the institution showing the period of time during which the person admitted was receiving care in the institution, the daily or monthly rate of charge fixed by the Secretary, the total amount due on the account, and the proper credits for any payments which may have been made on the account, shall be filed with the complaint and shall constitute a prima facie case. The State shall be entitled to a judgment in the case in the absence of allegation and proof on the part of the person admitted or person legally responsible for paying the costs that the verified and itemized statement is not correct because of:
(1) An error in the calculation of the amount due predicated upon the rate of charge fixed by the Secretary;
(2) An error as to the period of time during which the person admitted received care in the institution; or
(3) An error in not properly crediting the account with any payment which may have been made.
(d) The provisions of this Article directing the Secretary to determine which of the persons admitted are nonindigent and able to pay for their care, notify the person admitted or person legally responsible for the cost of his care of the amount due, to render a statement of the amount due monthly, to discharge persons admitted found able to pay but who refuse to pay and all of the other provisions relating to the manner in which the Secretary shall assess and collect costs are directory and not mandatory. The failure of the Secretary to perform any of these provisions shall not affect the right of the State to recover in any action brought for the cost of care against the person admitted, a person legally responsible for the cost of his care, or his estate if he has died.
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