Report Title:

Long-Term Care; Ombudsman

 

Description:

Expands the long-term care ombudsman program by adding three additional ombudsman positions, one for each neighboring county.

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2151

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to Long-term care ombudsman.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Act 93, Session Laws of Hawaii 2007, established the office of the long-term care ombudsman within the executive office on aging.

The purpose of this Act is to establish and fund three additional local long-term care ombudsmen positions, one for the county of Maui, one for the county of Hawaii, and one for the county of Kauai, within the office of the long-term care ombudsman to work under the supervision of the long-term care ombudsman in achieving the goals of the program as mandated by the United States Administration on Aging through the Older Americans Act.

SECTION 2. Section 349-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]349-21[]] Office of the long-term care ombudsman. (a) There is established the office of the long-term care ombudsman in the executive office on aging to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents of long-term care facilities in accordance with state and federal law. The office of the long-term care ombudsman shall be headed by the long-term care ombudsman with the assistance of three local long-term care ombudsmen, one situated in the county of Hawaii, one situated in the county of Kauai, and one situated in the county of Maui.

(b) The long-term care ombudsman and each local ombudsman shall:

(1) Be hired pursuant to chapter 76;

(2) Be free of conflict of interest;

(3) Have expertise and experience in the fields of long‑term care and advocacy;

(4) Serve on a full-time basis; and

(5) Prepare an annual report in accordance with the federal Older Americans Act, as amended.

(c) The long-term care ombudsman[,] and each local ombudsman, personally or through a designee, shall:

(1) Represent the interests of residents of long-term care facilities, individually and as a class, to:

(A) Protect their health, safety, welfare, and rights; and

(B) Promote improvement in the quality of care they receive and their quality of life;

(2) Identify, investigate, and resolve complaints, including complaints against providers of long-term care services and their representatives, made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities relating to actions, inactions or decisions that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights of residents of long-term care facilities, including the appointment and activities of guardians and representative payees;

(3) Monitor and comment on the development and implementation of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and actions that pertain to the health, safety, welfare, or rights of residents of long-term care facilities, including the adequacy of long-term care facilities and services in the State, and recommend changes as necessary;

(4) Provide information as appropriate to public agencies regarding the problems of residents of long-term care facilities;

(5) Train volunteers and employees;

(6) Promote the development of citizen organizations to participate in the advocacy program;

(7) Establish procedures for appropriate access by the long-term care ombudsman to long-term care facilities and to residents of long-term care facilities;

(8) Establish procedures for appropriate access by the long-term care ombudsman to all resident records or portions thereof necessary for the long-term care ombudsman to evaluate the merits of a specific complaint or complaints; [provided that resident records shall be divulged only with the written consent of the resident or the resident's legal representative;]

(9) Establish procedures for appropriate access to files maintained by the long-term care ombudsman, except that the identity of any complainant or resident of a long-term care facility shall not be disclosed unless:

(A) The complainant or resident, or the complainant's or resident's legal representative, consents in writing to the disclosure;

(B) The complainant or resident consents orally and the consent is documented contemporaneously in writing by the long-term care ombudsman or designee; or

(C) The disclosure is required by court order;

(10) Provide technical support for the development of resident and family councils to help protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents of long-term care facilities;

(11) Provide residents of long-term care facilities with:

(A) Information regarding how to obtain necessary services;

(B) Regular access to the office of the long-term care ombudsman at times deemed reasonable and necessary by the long-term care ombudsman; and

(C) Regular and timely responses to their complaints;

(12) Seek administrative, legal, or other remedies to carry out this part; and

(13) Carry out all other responsibilities as provided by state or federal law.

(d) The long-term care ombudsman shall establish procedures to ensure that all designees, employees, and volunteers are free of conflict of interest.

(e) The long-term care ombudsman shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the purposes of administering and implementing this part.

(f) For the purposes of this part:

"Conflict of interest" includes:

(1) Any direct involvement in the licensing or certification of a long-term care facility or of a provider of a long-term care service;

(2) An ownership or investment interest in a long-term care facility or a long-term care service;

(3) Employment by, or participation in the management of, a long-term care facility; and

(4) Receipt of, or the right to receive, directly or indirectly, remuneration under a compensation arrangement with an owner or operator of a long-term care facility.

"Long-term care facility" means any:

(1) Skilled nursing facility as defined in section 1819(a) of the Social Security Act, as amended;

(2) Nursing facility, as defined in section 1919(a) of the Social Security Act, as amended;

(3) Adult residential care home, including any expanded adult residential care home;

(4) Assisted living facility;

(5) Intermediate care facility as defined in section 1905(c) of the Social Security Act, as amended; and

(6) Other similar facility licensed or certified by the State serving elders."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 for three local long-term care ombudsmen positions in the office of the long-term care ombudsman within the executive office on aging.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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