2004 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Appropriations
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH A HOSPITAL OMBUDSMAN GROUP, WHICH SHALL CONSIST OF FIVE RETIRED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS APPOINTED BY THE STATE HEALTH OFFICER; TO PROVIDE THAT THE OMBUDSMAN GROUP SHALL INVESTIGATE AND REVIEW COMPLAINTS FILED BY OR ON BEHALF OF HOSPITAL RESIDENTS RELATING TO HOSPITAL PROCEDURES CONCERNING THE DIAGNOSIS AND CARE OF RESIDENTS, OR RELATING TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE AND RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is established within the State Department of Health a hospital ombudsman group, which shall consist of five (5) retired health care professionals appointed by the State Health Officer, with not more than two (2) members being from the same health care profession.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Resident" means any resident, prospective resident, prior resident or deceased resident of any hospital.
(b) "Sponsor" means an adult relative, friend or guardian who has a responsibility in the resident's welfare.
(3) The duties of the hospital ombudsman group shall be:
(a) To investigate and review complaints filed by residents or by sponsors or organizations on behalf of residents relating to hospital procedures concerning the diagnosis and care of residents, or relating to the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents;
(b) To seek to resolve any complaints informally; and
(c) To submit an annual report to the State Department of Health, which shall (i) include information about the activities of the ombudsman group in investigating and resolving complaints, (ii) identify systemic problems in hospitals that cannot be adequately addressed by state and local agencies, and (iii) include recommendations for legislative or executive action to alleviate any systemic problems.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.