Section 173.15 | Office of state long-term care ombudsman program.
The state long-term care ombudsman program established by the department of aging pursuant to division (J) of section 173.01 of the Revised Code shall be known as "the office of the state long-term care ombudsman program." It shall consist of the state long-term care ombudsman, the ombudsman's staff, and regional long-term care ombudsman programs. In establishing and operating the office, the department shall consider the views of area agencies on aging, individuals age sixty or older, and agencies and other entities that provide services to individuals age sixty and older.
The department of aging shall appoint the state ombudsman, who shall serve at the pleasure of the department. The department shall appoint as state ombudsman an individual who has no conflict of interest with the position and is capable of administering the office impartially, has an understanding of long-term care issues, and has experience related to the concerns of residents and recipients, such as experience in the fields of aging, health care, and long-term care; work with community programs and health care providers; and work with and involvement in volunteer programs. No individual or entity whose interests are in conflict with the responsibilities of the state ombudsman shall be involved in the ombudsman's appointment.
The department shall ensure that no employee or representative of the office and no individual involved in the designation of the head of any regional long-term care ombudsman program has any interest that is, or may be, in conflict with the interests and concerns of the office and shall ensure that mechanisms are in place to remedy any conflicts.
For purposes of this section, conflicts of interest may include, but are not limited to, employment by a long-term care provider within two years prior to being employed by or associated with the office of the state long-term care ombudsman program, affiliation with or financial interest in a long-term care provider, and affiliation with or financial interest in a membership organization of long-term care providers.