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How Does the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Work?

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home abuse lawyerThe National Ombudsman Resource Center reports that the Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program is authorized under the Older Americans Act and is administered at the state level, meaning every state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The program provides residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities with access to advocacy for ensuring they receive the quality of care and quality of life they need and legally deserve.

When a family has concerns about potential nursing home abuse or neglect involving their loved one, it can cause many people to begin asking questions for which there are not always easy answers. It is important to understand exactly which kinds of services the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program may offer.

Provisions of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program 

The 2nd Quarterly Report from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) included more than 100 licensees in Chicago. The IDPH initiated actions against these facilities for being in violation of the Nursing Home Care Act.

According to the Administration for Community Living, the LTC Ombudsman Program has more than 1,300 full-time-equivalent staff and 6,625 volunteers to investigate and resolve complaints and provide LTC Ombudsman Program services to residents. Facts and figures from the program include:

  • Resolving 201,460 complaints initiated by residents, families, and other concerned individuals

  • Resolving or partially resolving 73 percent of all complaints to the satisfaction of residents or complainants

  • Providing 402,000 instances of information and assistance to people

  • Visiting 68 percent of all nursing homes and 30 percent of all board and care, assisted living, and similar homes at least quarterly

The LTC Ombudsman Program handles several kinds of complaints about the quality of life and care for residents. Not every complaint is about the care provided by a facility, as certain complaints may be about outside agencies, services, or individuals such as issues with Medicaid or Medicare benefits. 

The LTC Ombudsman Program certainly tackles issues relating to nursing home abuse and neglect. Ombudsman programs are not mandatory reporters of suspected abuse because resident-identifying information cannot be disclosed without a resident’s consent, the consent of a resident representative, or a court order. 

LTC Ombudsman programs serve every long-term care facility resident regardless of age, and the programs work to help resolve complaints for residents who cannot communicate their wishes, including people lacking authorized representatives. An LTC Ombudsman Program is considered a “health oversight agency” as it relates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney 

If you or your loved one are dealing with possible nursing home abuse in the greater Cook County area, you will want to be sure that you quickly seek legal representation. The skilled Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Schwartz Injury Law will be able to conduct their own independent investigation into your case and work to hold any negligent party fully accountable.

Our firm can conduct an independent investigation into your case and work to secure the types of evidence that will help prove your case in court. Call 312-535-4625 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

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