Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ACL Updates FAQs for States’ Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

Lilly Hummel

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) published new Frequently Asked Questions that provide additional guidance to implement the final regulations regarding States’ Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. State Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs (Ombudsman programs) serve as advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about improvements to residents' care and quality of life at the local, state and national levels. There has been significant variation in the interpretation and implementation of the Ombudsman program among States. This has resulted in residents of long-term care facilities receiving inconsistent services from Ombudsman programs in some States compared to other States. The new questions cover ombudsman authority to resolve complaints about the guardian or other representative of a resident, conflicts of interest of supervisors, intake processes to handle inquiries, appropriateness of people conducting ombudsman program activities, ombudsman program staff with professional licensing requirements, and court orders to disclose ombudsman program information.

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