7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions related to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
10 within the Division of Aging and Adult Services, within the Department of Human
12 Highlighted Provisions:
13 This bill:
14 ▸ amends definitions;
15 ▸ eliminates references to "elderly" in provisions governing the Long-Term Care
16 Ombudsman Program;
17 ▸ makes other amendments related to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; and
18 ▸ makes technical changes.
19 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
21 Other Special Clauses:
23 Utah Code Sections Affected:
25 62A-3-201, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1988, Chapter 1
26 62A-3-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 192
27 62A-3-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 31
28 62A-3-204, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 75
29 62A-3-205, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
30 62A-3-206, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 324
31 62A-3-207, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 176
32 62A-3-208, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1988, Chapter 1
34 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35 Section 1. Section 62A-3-201 is amended to read:
36 62A-3-201. Legislative findings -- Purpose -- Ombudsman.
37 (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the [
38 assisted in asserting their civil and human rights as patients, residents, and clients of long-term
39 care facilities created to serve their specialized needs and problems; and that for the health,
40 safety, and welfare of these citizens, the state should take appropriate action through an
41 adequate legal framework to address their difficulties.
42 (2) The purpose of this part is to establish within the division the [
44 state and identify duties and responsibilities of that program and of the ombudsman, in order to
45 address problems relating to long-term care [
47 Section 2. Section 62A-3-202 is amended to read:
48 62A-3-202. Definitions.
49 As used in this part:
53 (1) "Assisted living facility" means the same as that term is defined in Section 26-21-2.
54 (2) "Auxiliary aids and services" means items, equipment, or services that assist in
55 effective communication between an individual who has a mental, hearing, vision, or speech
56 disability and another individual.
58 commission, authority, or any other agency or instrumentality created by the state, or to which
59 the state is a party, or created by any county or municipality, which is responsible for the
60 regulation, visitation, inspection, or supervision of facilities, or which provides services to
61 patients, residents, or clients of facilities.
66 (4) "Intermediate care facility" means the same as that term is defined in Section
68 (5) (a) "Long-term care facility" means:
69 (i) a skilled nursing facility;
70 (ii) except as provided in Subsection (5)(b), an intermediate care facility;
71 (iii) a nursing home;
72 (iv) a small health care facility;
73 (v) a small health care facility type N; or
74 (vi) an assisted living facility.
75 (b) "Long-term care facility" does not mean an intermediate care facility for people
76 with an intellectual disability, as defined in Section 58-15-2.
78 program, created pursuant to Section 62A-3-203.
79 (7) "Ombudsman program" means the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
80 (8) "Resident" means an individual who resides in a long-term care facility.
81 (9) "Skilled nursing facility" means the same as that term is defined in Section 58-15-2.
82 (10) "Small health care facility" means the same as that term is defined in Section
84 (11) "Small health care facility type N" means a residence in which a licensed nurse
85 resides and provides protected living arrangements, nursing care, and other services on a daily
86 basis for two to three individuals who are also residing in the residence and are unrelated to the
88 Section 3. Section 62A-3-203 is amended to read:
89 62A-3-203. Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program -- Responsibilities.
90 (1) (a) There is created within the division the [
92 adequacy of care received[
93 long-term care facilities within the state.
94 (b) Subject to the rules made under Section 62A-3-106.5, the ombudsman is
95 responsible for:
96 (i) receiving and resolving complaints relating to [
98 (ii) conducting investigations of any act, practice, policy, or procedure of [
99 long-term care facility or government agency [
100 believe affects or may affect the health, safety, welfare, or civil and human rights of [
102 (iii) coordinating the department's services for [
103 facilities to ensure that those services are made available to eligible [
104 state; and
105 (iv) providing training regarding the delivery and regulation of long-term care to public
106 agencies, local ombudsman program volunteers, and operators and employees of long-term
107 care facilities.
108 (2) (a) A long-term care facility shall display an ombudsman program information
109 poster in a location that is readily visible to all residents, visitors, and staff members.
110 (b) The division is responsible for providing the posters, which shall include [
112 Section 4. Section 62A-3-204 is amended to read:
113 62A-3-204. Powers and responsibilities of ombudsman.
114 The long-term care ombudsman shall:
115 (1) comply with Title VII of the federal Older Americans Act, 42 U.S.C. 3058 et seq.;
116 (2) establish procedures for and engage in receiving complaints, conducting
117 investigations, reporting findings, issuing findings and recommendations, promoting
118 community contact and involvement with [
119 through the use of volunteers, and publicizing its functions and activities;
120 (3) investigate an administrative act or omission of [
121 governmental agency if the act or omission relates to the purposes of the ombudsman. The
122 ombudsman may exercise its authority under this subsection without regard to the finality of
123 the administrative act or omission, and it may make findings in order to resolve the subject
124 matter of its investigation;
125 (4) recommend to the division rules that it considers necessary to carry out the
126 purposes of the ombudsman;
127 (5) cooperate and coordinate with governmental entities and voluntary assistance
128 organizations in exercising its powers and responsibilities;
129 (6) request and receive cooperation, assistance, services, and data from any
130 governmental agency, to enable it to properly exercise its powers and responsibilities;
131 (7) establish local ombudsman programs to assist in carrying out the purposes of this
132 part, which shall meet the standards developed by the division, and possess all of the authority
133 and power granted to the [
134 (8) exercise other powers and responsibilities as reasonably required to carry out the
135 purposes of this part.
136 Section 5. Section 62A-3-205 is amended to read:
137 62A-3-205. Procedures -- Adjudicative proceedings.
138 The [
139 Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act, in [
141 Section 6. Section 62A-3-206 is amended to read:
142 62A-3-206. Investigation of complaints -- Procedures.
143 (1) [
144 receives. An investigation may consist of a referral to another public agency, the collecting of
145 facts and information over the telephone, or an inspection of the long-term care facility that is
146 named in the complaint.
149 (2) In making [
150 the ombudsman considers appropriate, including[
151 (a) making inquiries and obtaining information;
152 (b) holding investigatory hearings;
153 (c) entering [
154 the investigator [
155 identification as an individual authorized by this part to inspect the premises; and
156 (d) inspecting or obtaining [
157 by law to be retained by the long-term care facility or governmental agency, pertaining to
159 (3) (a) Before reviewing a resident's records, the ombudsman shall seek to obtain
161 or through the use of auxiliary aids and services to review the records [
163 (b) The effort to obtain permission under Subsection (3)(a) shall include personal
164 contact with the [
165 the resident's legal representative refuses to [
166 permission, the ombudsman shall record and abide by this decision.
167 (c) If the ombudsman's attempt to obtain [
169 permission, the ombudsman may review the records.
173 (d) If the ombudsman has reasonable cause to believe that the resident is incompetent
174 to give permission and that the resident's legal representative is not acting in the best interest of
175 the resident, the ombudsman shall determine whether review of the resident's records is in the
176 best interest of the resident. If the ombudsman determines that review of the resident's records
177 is in the best interest of the resident, the ombudsman shall review the records.
178 Section 7. Section 62A-3-207 is amended to read:
179 62A-3-207. Confidentiality of materials relating to complaints or investigations --
180 Immunity from liability -- Discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory actions prohibited.
181 (1) The ombudsman shall establish procedures to [
182 maintained by the [
183 and under the authority of the ombudsman. The identity of a complainant or [
184 of a long-term care facility may not be disclosed by the ombudsman unless:
185 (a) the complainant or [
186 in writing, orally, or through the use of auxiliary aids and services to the disclosure;
187 (b) disclosure is ordered by the court; or
191 (c) the disclosure is approved by the ombudsman and is made, as part of an
192 investigation involving the resident, to an agency that:
193 (i) has statutory responsibility for the resident;
194 (ii) has statutory responsibility over the action alleged in the complaint;
195 (iii) is able to assist the ombudsman to achieve resolution of the complaint; or
196 (iv) is able to provide expertise that would benefit the resident.
197 (2) Neither the ombudsman nor [
198 designee may be required to testify in court with respect to confidential matters, except as the
199 court finds necessary to enforce [
200 (3) Any person who makes a complaint to the ombudsman pursuant to this part is
201 immune from any civil or criminal liability unless the complaint was made maliciously or
202 without good faith.
203 (4) (a) Discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory action may not be taken against
206 information given or disclosed to aid the ombudsman or other appropriate public agency in
207 carrying out its duties and responsibilities, unless the same was done maliciously or without
208 good faith.
209 (b) This subsection does not infringe on the rights of an employer to supervise,
210 discipline, or terminate an employee for any other reason.
211 Section 8. Section 62A-3-208 is amended to read:
212 62A-3-208. Prohibited acts -- Penalty.
213 (1) No person may:
214 (a) give or cause to be given advance notice to a long-term care facility or agency that
215 an investigation or inspection under the direction of the ombudsman is pending or under
216 consideration, except as provided by law;
217 (b) disclose confidential information submitted to the ombudsman pursuant to this part,
218 except as provided by law;
219 (c) willfully interfere with the lawful actions of the ombudsman;
220 (d) willfully refuse to comply with lawful demands of the ombudsman, including the
221 demand for immediate entry into or inspection of the premises of any long-term care facility or
222 agency or for immediate access to [
223 (e) offer or accept any compensation, gratuity, or promise thereof in an effort to affect
224 the outcome of a matter being investigated or of a matter [
225 for determination of whether an investigation should be conducted.
226 (2) Violation of any provision of this part constitutes a class B misdemeanor.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel