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HB4220 Is a Trojan Horse That Restricts Ombudsman in Long-term Care Facilities

Representative Travis Clardy told the House Committee on Human Services yesterday that the lines are blurred when an ombudsman acts as more than support to a resident and that his bill seeks to clarify those lines which do not include "grievances and other processes" since the ombudsman's role is strictly to provide support.

This is how HB4220, a bill seeking to reform the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, was introduced to the House Committee on Human Services in Texas yesterday. And it is 10O% false.

We have seen in Texas, particularly with our own Texas Caregivers for Compromise advocacy last session, how what we do here with long-term care can spread througout the states so it's alarming to think of not only the catastrophic affects this bill would have on lives in Texas facilities but in other states as well if they, too, ignore the Federal law and regulations which state that the purpose of the ombudsman is not to simply support residents but to

"provide services to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of the residents."

That includes everything from grievances about food and complaints regarding bed bugs to protection from abuse and neglect.

Everything in this bill is about limiting ombudsman access and altering a program designed to benefit residents so that it is more acceptable to facilities and less likely to result in complaints and citations.

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