An Ombudsman is someone who investigates complaints against nursing homes and advocates for resident’s rights. In New Mexico, the state Ombudsman has the power to impose penalties on nursing homes for noncompliance. In December, 2013, that’s exactly what one Ombudsman did.
Sondra Everheart, long-term care Ombudsman issued a fine against Preferred Care Partners Management Group for $23,500. The Group manages two nursing homes, one of which, the Casa Real Healthcare Center, had an administration which were engaging in “obstruction and intimidation” according to Everheart. Comments by the administration at Casa Real were that employees should not talk to the Ombudsman and there were other problems as well, including lack of communication of relevant information.
The initial fine of $23,500 was lowered to $3,500 after the Group worked with the Ombudsman and agreed to change their policies. The new policies reflect cooperation with the Ombudsman rather than intimidation. They should also help to ensure that the Ombudsman gets documentation and relevant information in a more timely manner. See full article here.