Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the web July 1 following the legislative session.


67-5009.  Office of ombudsman for the elderly.  The office of ombudsman for the elderly is hereby created within the commission. The ombudsman shall be able to independently make determinations and establish positions of the office without necessarily representing the determinations or positions of the commission. The ombudsman shall be responsible for receiving, investigating and resolving or closing complaints made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities or persons aged sixty (60) years or older living in the community. No representative of the office shall be liable for the good faith performance of official duties, and willful interference with representatives of the office is unlawful. Long-term care facilities are prohibited from interference, reprisals or retaliation against a resident, employee or other person filing a complaint with, or furnishing information to, the office.
For the purposes of implementing the provisions of this section, the commission is hereby authorized as follows:
The administrator shall hire the state ombudsman for the elderly who shall be a person with the necessary educational background commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the office of ombudsman and shall be a classified employee subject to the provisions of chapter 53, title 67, Idaho Code.
The ombudsman may delegate to designated local ombudsmen any duties deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of the provisions of this section.
The ombudsman shall establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, conducting investigations and reporting his findings. He shall have jurisdiction to investigate administrative acts or omissions of long-term care facilities or state or county departments or agencies providing services to older people. An administrative act of a long-term care facility or state or county department or agency may become an appropriate subject for the ombudsman to investigate under certain circumstances. For example, the ombudsman may investigate such an act if it might be contrary to law, unreasonable, unfair, oppressive, capricious or discriminatory. The ombudsman may make a finding for an appropriate resolution to the subject matter of the investigation.
The ombudsman shall investigate any complaint that he determines to be an appropriate subject for investigation under this section and will work to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the resident or the resident’s representative.
In an investigation of any complaint or administrative act of any long-term care facility or state or county department or agency providing services to older people, the ombudsman may undertake, but not be limited to, any of the following actions:
(a)  Make the necessary inquiries and obtain such information he deems necessary.
(b)  Hold private hearings.
(c)  Enter during regular business hours, a state or county department or agency’s premises, or enter at any time a long-term care facility.
Following the investigation and upon his determination that particular subject matter should be further considered by the long-term care facility or state or county department or agency, an administrative act should be modified or canceled, a statute or regulation on which an administrative act is based should be altered, reasons should be given for an administrative act, or some other action should be taken by a long-term care facility or state or county department or agency, he shall report his opinions and recommendations to the respective parties. The ombudsman may request the parties affected by such opinions or recommendations to notify him within the specified time of any action taken by such parties on his recommendation.
The ombudsman shall notify, in writing or verbally, the resident or the resident’s representative within a reasonable time from the date the investigation is terminated of any actions taken by him and the long-term care facility, or state or county department or agency to resolve any issues raised by the complaint.
The ombudsman, on December 1 of each year, shall submit to the governor, the speaker of the house, president of the senate, the department of health and welfare division of licensing and certification, the president of the Idaho hospital association and the president of the Idaho health care association a report of the activities of the ombudsman for the elderly during the prior fiscal year. This report shall include, but not be limited to, the number and general patterns of complaints received by the ombudsman, the action taken on such complaints, the results of such action, and any opinions or recommendations which further the state’s capability in providing for statutory resolution of complaints.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to be a limitation of the powers and responsibilities assigned by law to other state or county departments or agencies.
Records obtained by the ombudsman shall be subject to disclosure according to chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code.

[67-5009, added 1988, ch. 263, sec. 1, p. 517; am. 1990, ch. 213, sec. 96, p. 556; am. 1995, ch. 189, sec. 5, p. 679; am. 1999, ch. 13, sec. 4, p. 20; am. 2001, ch. 87, sec. 2, p. 223; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 174, p. 516; am. 2018, ch. 56, sec. 2, p. 143.]

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