Ombuds Staffing Levels
States can maintain adequate staffing levels of long-term ombuds. The federal long-term care ombuds program, administered and partially funded by the states, provides ombuds who act as advocates to help residents and their families obtain a better quality of life in long-term care settings.1
States receive a "meets policy" if their ratio of paid ombuds per long-term care facility beds is one to 2,000 or fewer, the minimum determined by the 1994 landmark IOM report. States receive a "no policy" if their ratio is greater than one to 2,000 or more.2
|State||Strength of Policy||Change from 2007|
|District of Columbia||Meets Policy||Same|
|New Hampshire||No Policy||Worse|
|New Jersey||No Policy||Same|
|New Mexico||Meets Policy||Same|
|New York||No Policy||Same|
|North Carolina||No Policy||Same|
|North Dakota||No Policy||Same|
|Rhode Island||Meets Policy||Same|
|South Carolina||Meets Policy||Same|
|South Dakota||No Policy||Same|
|West Virginia||Meets Policy||Same|
Data Source:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, "National Ombudsman Reporting System Data Tables: Table A-1: Selected Information by State for FY 2008 [Column T]," available at http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/Ombudsman/National_..., accessed September 8, 2010.
1 42 U.S.C. § 3058g (2000).
2 Institute of Medicine, Real People, Real Problems: An Evaluation of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs of the Older Americans Act (Washington: National Academy Press, 1994), 175, Table 5.5d. The ratio of paid ombuds program staff (funded by state, regional, and local governments, with some state responsibility for overseeing the regional and local programs) to the number of beds in all facilities is obtained by comparing the number of paid ombuds program staff to the number of beds in all facilities (licensed nursing facilities, and licensed board and care, and similar facilities). Although states may have an effective volunteer ombuds corps, the IOM report determined that the appropriate measure involved paid ombuds. The number used in the Report Card is for full-time equivalents (FTEs), i.e., not all of the ombuds serve this role in a full-time capacity.