Bill Text: HI HB1872 | 2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Making An Appropriation For The Office Of The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 31-4)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-02-28 - Reported from FIN (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 823-20), recommending passage on Third Reading. [HB1872 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2020-HB1872-Amended.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1872

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF THE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that in the executive office on aging reorganization of June 2015, the long-term care ombudsman program was reduced in staff to only the director, making Hawaii the only state in the country with a long-term care ombudsman program staff of one.  In 1995, a time when most residents lived in nursing homes, the Institute of Medicine recommended at a minimum one full-time paid ombudsman for every two thousand long-term care residents.  Hawaii has over twelve thousand long-term care residents, most of whom live in the community rather than in nursing homes, which creates greater challenges.  Under the 1995 recommendation, Hawaii should have a minimum of six full-time long-term care ombudsmen.

     The legislature also finds that the long-term care ombudsman program may utilize volunteers.  Currently there are nine ombudsman volunteers.  Consequently, the volunteer long-term care ombudsmen are not reimbursed for 1,248 hours of service a year, which involves extensive travel to visit the long-term care residents in their districts.

     The legislature further finds that in addition to visits to long-term care facilities, long-term care ombudsmen respond to a multitude of complaints, engage in investigations, and provide information, assistance, and referrals to long-term care residents and their families.  As of 2019, there were 1,406 long-term care facilities on Oahu, 36 facilities on Kauai, 72 facilities on Maui, and 182 facilities on Hawaii for a total of 1,696 facilities state-wide.

     The long-term care ombudsman program lacks staff to visit each facility on an annual basis, let alone also facilitate resident and family councils, provide more community education, and work more closely with neighbor island county councils and the area agencies on aging.  The long-term care ombudsman program requires resources to ensure that the neighbor islands' kupuna and their families receive the same equal access to services that have been provided by the long-term care ombudsman program on Oahu since 1975.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish and fund long-term care ombudsmen specialist positions, including positions for the city and county of Oahu, county of Maui, county of Hawaii, and county of Kauai, within the office of the long-term care ombudsman.  The long-term care ombudsman specialists will work under the supervision of the long-term care ombudsman to achieve the goals of the long-term care ombudsman program, as mandated by the United States Administration on Aging through the Older Americans Act.

     SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to establish            full-time equivalent (    FTE) ombudsman specialist positions for the office of the long-term care ombudsman.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the executive office on aging for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on December 31, 2059.


 


 

Report Title:

Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman; Ombudsman Specialist; Kupuna Caucus; Appropriation

 

Description:

Appropriates funds to the office of the long-term care ombudsman for an unspecified number of ombudsman specialist positions.  Appropriates funds.  Takes effect 12/31/2059.  (HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

 

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