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2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)

Long-term care ombudsman districts; local long-term care ombudsman councils; duties; appointment.
F.S. 400.0069
400.0069 Long-term care ombudsman districts; local long-term care ombudsman councils; duties; appointment.
(1)(a) The state ombudsman shall designate districts and each district shall designate local long-term care ombudsman councils to carry out the duties of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program within local communities. Each district shall function under the direction of the state ombudsman.
(b) The state ombudsman shall ensure that there is at least one employee of the department certified as a long-term care ombudsman and a least one local council operating in each district. The state ombudsman may create additional local councils as necessary to ensure that residents throughout the state have adequate access to State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program services.
(c) Each district shall convene a public meeting at least quarterly.
(2) The duties of the representatives of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are to:
(a) Provide services to assist in protecting the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
(b) Discover, investigate, and determine the existence of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in any long-term care facility and to use the procedures provided for in ss. 415.101-415.113 when applicable.
(c) Identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents relating to actions or omissions by providers of long-term care services, other public agencies, guardians, or representative payees which may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights of residents.
(d) Review and, if necessary, comment on all existing or proposed rules, regulations, and other governmental policies and actions relating to long-term care facilities that may potentially have an effect on the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
(e) Review personal property and money accounts of residents who are receiving assistance under the Medicaid program pursuant to an investigation to obtain information regarding a specific complaint.
(f) Recommend that the state ombudsman and the legal advocate seek administrative, legal, and other remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
(g) Provide technical assistance for the development of resident and family councils at long-term care facilities.
(h) Carry out other activities that the state ombudsman determines to be appropriate.
(3) In order to carry out the duties specified in subsection (2), a representative of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program or a member of a local council is authorized to enter any long-term care facility without notice or first obtaining a warrant; however, s. 400.0074(2) may apply regarding notice of a followup administrative assessment.
(4) Each district and local council shall be composed of ombudsmen whose primary residences are located within the boundaries of the district.
(a) Upon good cause shown and with the consent of the ombudsman, the state ombudsman may appoint an ombudsman to another district. The ombudsman shall strive to ensure that each local council include the following persons as members:
1. At least one medical or osteopathic physician whose practice includes or has included a substantial number of geriatric patients and who may practice in a long-term care facility;
2. At least one registered nurse who has geriatric experience;
3. At least one licensed pharmacist;
4. At least one registered dietitian;
5. At least six nursing home residents or representative consumer advocates for nursing home residents;
6. At least three residents of assisted living facilities or adult family-care homes or three representative consumer advocates for alternative long-term care facility residents;
7. At least one attorney; and
8. At least one professional social worker.
(b) The following individuals may not be appointed as ombudsmen:
1. The owner or representative of a long-term care facility.
2. A provider or representative of a provider of long-term care service.
3. An employee of the agency.
4. An employee of the department, except for staff certified as ombudsmen in the district offices.
5. An employee of the Department of Children and Families.
6. An employee of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
(5)(a) To be appointed as an ombudsman, an individual must:
1. Submit an application to the state ombudsman or his or her designee.
2. Successfully complete a level 2 background screening pursuant to s. 430.0402 and chapter 435.
(b) The state ombudsman shall approve or deny the appointment of the individual as an ombudsman. If the state ombudsman rescinds the approval of a member on a local council, the state ombudsman shall ensure that the individual is immediately removed from the local council on which he or she serves and the individual may no longer represent the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program until the state ombudsman provides his or her approval.
(c) Upon appointment as an ombudsman, the individual may participate in district activities, but may not represent the program or conduct any authorized program duties until the individual has completed the initial training specified in s. 400.0091(1) and has been certified by the state ombudsman.
(d) The state ombudsman may rescind the appointment of an individual as an ombudsman for good cause shown, such as development of a conflict of interest, failure to adhere to the policies and procedures established by the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, or demonstrated inability to carry out the responsibilities of the program. After the appointment is rescinded, the individual may not conduct any duties as an ombudsman and may not represent the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
(e) A local council may recommend the removal of one or more of its members by submitting to the state ombudsman a resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the council stating the name of the member or members recommended for removal and the reasons for the recommendation. If such a recommendation is adopted by a local council, the local council chair or district manager shall immediately report the council’s recommendation to the state ombudsman. The state ombudsman shall review the recommendation of the local council and advise the district manager and local council chair of his or her decision regarding removal of the council member or members.
(6)(a) Each local council shall elect a chair for a term of 1 year. There shall be no limitation on the number of terms that an approved member of a local council may serve as chair.
(b) The chair shall select a vice chair from among the members of the council. The vice chair shall preside over the council in the absence of the chair.
(c) The chair may create additional executive positions as necessary to carry out the duties of the local council. Any person appointed to an executive position shall serve at the pleasure of the chair, and his or her term shall expire on the same day as the term of the chair.
(d) A chair may be immediately removed from office prior to the expiration of his or her term by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the local council. If any chair is removed from office before the expiration of his or her term, a replacement chair shall be elected during the same meeting, and the term of the replacement chair shall begin immediately. The replacement chair shall serve for the remainder of the term of the person he or she replaced.
(7) Each local council shall meet upon the call of its chair or upon the call of the ombudsman. Each local council shall meet at least once a month but may meet more frequently if necessary.
(8) An ombudsman may not receive compensation but shall, with approval from the state ombudsman, be reimbursed for travel expenses in accordance with the provisions of s. 112.061.
(9) A representative of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program may call upon appropriate state agencies for professional assistance as needed in the discharge of his or her duties, and such state agencies shall cooperate in providing requested information and agency representation.
History.s. 27, ch. 75-233; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 136, ch. 77-104; s. 8, ch. 77-401; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 4, ch. 78-323; s. 2, ch. 78-393; ss. 6, 12, ch. 80-198; ss. 2, 3, 5, ch. 81-184; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 4, ch. 82-46; ss. 15, 19, ch. 82-148; ss. 35, 79, 80, 83, 84, ch. 83-181; s. 39, ch. 86-220; s. 2, ch. 87-396; s. 7, ch. 89-294; s. 3, ch. 91-115; s. 27, ch. 92-33; ss. 6, 29, 30, 31, ch. 93-177; s. 49, ch. 93-217; s. 760, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 95-210; s. 114, ch. 99-8; s. 125, ch. 2000-349; s. 45, ch. 2000-367; s. 23, ch. 2002-223; s. 7, ch. 2006-121; s. 21, ch. 2006-197; s. 121, ch. 2014-19; s. 6, ch. 2015-31.
Note.Former s. 400.307.