173.21 Training and certification programs.

(A) The office of the state long-term care ombudsman program, through the state long-term care ombudsman and the regional long-term care ombudsman programs, shall require each representative of the office to complete a training and certification program in accordance with this section and to meet the continuing education requirements established under this section.

(B) The department of aging shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code specifying the content of training programs for representatives of the office of the state long-term care ombudsman program. Training for representatives other than those who are volunteers providing services through regional long-term care ombudsman programs shall include instruction regarding federal, state, and local laws, rules, and policies on long-term care facilities and community-based long-term care services; investigative techniques; and other topics considered relevant by the department and shall consist of the following:

(1) A minimum of forty clock hours of basic instruction, which shall be completed before the trainee is permitted to handle complaints without the supervision of a representative of the office certified under this section;

(2) An additional sixty clock hours of instruction, which shall be completed within the first fifteen months of employment;

(3) An internship of twenty clock hours, which shall be completed within the first twenty-four months of employment, including instruction in, and observation of, basic nursing care and long-term care provider operations and procedures. The internship shall be performed at a site that has been approved as an internship site by the state long-term care ombudsman.

(4) One of the following, which shall be completed within the first twenty-four months of employment:

(a) Observation of a survey conducted by the director of health to certify a nursing facility to participate in the medicaid program;

(b) Observation of an inspection conducted by the director of mental health and addiction services to license a residential facility under section 5119.34 of the Revised Code that provides accommodations, supervision, and personal care services for three to sixteen unrelated adults.

(5) Any other training considered appropriate by the department.

(C) Any person who for a period of at least six months prior to June 11, 1990, served as an ombudsman through the long-term care ombudsman program established by the department of aging under division (M) of section 173.01 of the Revised Code shall not be required to complete a training program. Such a person and persons who complete a training program shall take an examination administered by the department of aging. On attainment of a passing score, the person shall be certified by the department as a representative of the office. The department shall issue the person an identification card, which the representative shall show at the request of any person with whom the representative deals while performing the representative's duties and which shall be surrendered at the time the representative separates from the office.

(D) The state ombudsman and each regional program shall conduct training programs for volunteers on their respective staffs in accordance with the rules of the department of aging adopted under division (B) of this section. Training programs may be conducted that train volunteers to complete some, but not all, of the duties of a representative of the office. Each regional office shall bear the cost of training its representatives who are volunteers. On completion of a training program, the representative shall take an examination administered by the department of aging. On attainment of a passing score, a volunteer shall be certified by the department as a representative authorized to perform services specified in the certification. The department shall issue an identification card, which the representative shall show at the request of any person with whom the representative deals while performing the representative's duties and which shall be surrendered at the time the representative separates from the office. Except as a supervised part of a training program, no volunteer shall perform any duty unless he is certified as a representative having received appropriate training for that duty.

(E) The state ombudsman shall provide technical assistance to regional programs conducting training programs for volunteers and shall monitor the training programs.

(F) Prior to scheduling an observation of a certification survey or licensing inspection for purposes of division (B)(4) of this section, the state ombudsman shall obtain permission to have the survey or inspection observed from both the director of health and the long-term care facility at which the survey or inspection is to take place.

(G) The department of aging shall establish continuing education requirements for representatives of the office.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2011.

Effective Date: 10-29-1995