Patient Care Ombudsman Law and Legal Definition

A patient care ombudsman refers to an individual appointed in healthcare bankruptcies filed under Chapters 7, 9 or 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to ensure the safety of patients.

The ombudsman is responsible for monitoring the quality of patient care and representing the interest of the patients of the healthcare debtor. S/he interviews patients and physicians. The ombudsman reports to the court, at a hearing or in writing, regarding the quality of patient care provided. If the ombudsman determines that the quality of patient care is declining or materially compromised, the ombudsman shall file a motion or written report with the Court. The ombudsman is required to maintain any patient information as confidential.

The following is an example of a federal law on patient care ombudsman :

If the debtor in a case under chapter 7, 9, or 11 is a health care business, the court shall order, not later than 30 days after the commencement of the case, the appointment of an ombudsman to monitor the quality of patient care and to represent the interests of the patients of the health care business unless the court finds that the appointment of such ombudsman is not necessary for the protection of patients under the specific facts of the case. If the court orders the appointment of an ombudsman, the U.S.trustee shall appoint one disinterested person to serve as such ombudsman. [11 USCS § 333].