State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-66.7
Long-Term Care Ombudsperson Act of 1995

SECTION 42-66.7-3

§ 42-66.7-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) An "act" of any facility or government agency includes any failure or refusal to act by any facility or government agency.

(2) "Administrator" means any person who is charged with the general administration or supervision of a facility whether or not that person has an ownership interest and whether or not that person's functions and duties are shared with one or more other persons.

(3) "Elderly" means any person sixty (60) years of age or older who is a resident of any facility.

(4) "Facility" means any facility or institution, home care provider or home nursing care provider, whether public or private, offering health or health related services for the institutionalized elderly, and which is subject to regulation, visitation, inspection, or supervision by any government agency. "Facilities" include, but are not limited to, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, extended care facilities, convalescent homes, rehabilitation centers, home care agencies, homes for the aged, veterans' homes, boarding homes, and adult supportive care, residential care and assisted living residences.

(5) "Government agency" means any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, authority, non-profit community organization, or any other agency or instrumentality created by any municipality or by the state, or to which the state is a party, which is responsible for the regulation, inspection, visitation, or supervision of facilities or which provides services to residents of facilities.

(6) "Ombudsperson" means the person or persons designated by the director. That person or persons shall have expertise and experience in the fields of social work, long-term care, and advocacy, and shall be qualified and experienced in communicating with the elderly.

(7) "Resident" means any person age sixty (60) years of age or older who is receiving treatment, care, or housing in any facility in all of its aspects including, but not limited to, admission, retention, confinement, period of residence, transfer, discharge, and in any instances directly related to that status. Residents include patients and clients. Residents shall also include disabled persons under sixty (60) years of age residing in nursing homes, or clients of residential and assisted living facilities and home care providers/home nursing care providers and long-term care units at the Eleanor Slater Hospital, including the Zambarano facility.

(8) "Interfere" means willing and continuous conduct which prevents the ombudsperson from performing her or his official duties.

(9) "Official duties" means work pursuant to the long-term care ombudsperson program authorized by the federal Older Americans Act or the long-term care ombudsperson program authorized by state law and carried out under the auspices and general direction of the state long-term care ombudsperson.

(10) "Director" means the director of the department of elderly affairs.

(11) "Person" means any individual, trust, or estate, partnership, limited liability corporation, corporation (including associations, joint stock companies, and insurance companies), state, or political subdivision or instrumentality of a state.

(12) "Health oversight agency" means, for the purposes of this chapter, the department of elderly affairs or the person or entity designated as the state's long-term care ombudsperson by the director of the department of elderly affairs, including the employees or agents of such person or entity, when they are acting to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the state's long-term care ombudsperson program in which health information is necessary to oversee the health system and in accordance with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 92, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 282, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch. 55, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 74, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 361, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 501, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 189, § 3; P.L. 2009, ch. 290, § 3.)