Hospital Patient Advocacy - Information for Hospitals

The Ombudsman Program provides advocacy to patients in hospitals when barriers to accessing long-term care services and supports exist. The Ombudsman Program will work with the patient, family/legal representative and the hospital to provide advocacy to effectively address the barriers to accessing these services.

Hospital Care Managers can make referrals to the Ombudsman Program only with consent from the patient or their legal representative. A referral is appropriate for individuals in need of nursing home care, residential care, assisted living or home care for whom multiple referrals have been made to providers that have refused to provide long-term care services for patients ready for discharge. A referral to the Ombudsman Program does not diminish the role of the Care Manager in planning a safe and appropriate discharge.

What to Expect:

  • Care Managers must get consent from patient or their legal representative prior to referral
  • Ombudsman Program staff will meet with the patient at the hospital, discuss needs and goals for discharge/placement
  • Review medical records and talk with hospital staff to understand current care needs
  • Share referral information and action taken on behalf of patient with Office of MaineCare, Case Coordination Unit
  • Request assistance as needed from DHHS to achieve goals of discharge

Ombudsman Program Advocacy:

  • The Ombudsman Program's mandate is to serve as a patient advocate
  • Advocate with informed consent from patient or their legal representative
  • Get accurate information from hospital regarding patient needs and if appropriate, gather information from placement prior to hospitalization
  • Communicate with team members to effectively address barriers to placement and avoid duplication
  • Work closely with the patient to identify an environment in which the patient will thrive
  • Follow up with patient as needed after discharge (including visits to new long-term care home or home)

Referrals should be directed to the Ombudsman Program's Intake Staff by calling (800) 499-0229 or (207) 621-1079.