2017 ORS 443.388¹
Authority of ombudsman and designees
  • confidentiality agreements

(1) The Residential Facilities Ombudsman and each designee shall:

(a) Have private and unimpeded access to residential facilities and residents at any time considered necessary and reasonable by the ombudsman or the designee for the purpose of:

(A) Investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf of residents, including by subpoenaing any person to appear and give sworn testimony or to produce documentary or other evidence that is reasonably material to the matter under investigation;

(B) Offering the services of the ombudsman or the designee to any resident, in private;

(C) Interviewing residents, with their consent, in private;

(D) Interviewing employees or agents of the facility;

(E) Consulting regularly with the facility administration; and

(F) Providing other services authorized by law or by rule.

(b) Notwithstanding ORS 192.553 (Policy for protected health information) to 192.581 (Allowed retention or disclosure of genetic information), have access to all of the following if necessary to investigate a complaint:

(A) Residents’ records, including medical records with the consent of a resident or a resident’s representative.

(B) For a resident who is unable to communicate consent and the resident’s legal representative denies consent, access to the resident’s records without consent if the ombudsman has reasonable cause to believe that the legal representative is not acting in the resident’s best interests.

(C) For a resident who is unable to communicate consent and does not have a legal representative, access to the resident’s records, including medical records, without consent if the ombudsman or designee believes that the information is necessary for the investigation of the complaint.

(D) Records of any public agency, including abuse reports maintained under ORS 430.757 (Reports of abuse to be maintained by Department of Human Services).

(c) Have access to, upon request, copies of all licensing and certification records, including records of corrective actions, maintained by the Department of Human Services or the Oregon Health Authority with respect to residential facilities.

(d) Have access to the administrative records, policies and documents of residential facilities to which residents or the general public has access.

(e) Conduct each investigation in a manner that does not significantly disrupt the provision of residential care or treatment to residents.

(f) Show identification to the person in charge of a facility prior to entering the facility.

(2) The Residential Facilities Ombudsman shall enter into confidentiality agreements with the department and with the authority permitting the ombudsman and each designee to have access to electronic records of the department and the authority that are necessary to carry out the duties of the ombudsman. The agreement must ensure that records obtained by the ombudsman from the department or the authority that are confidential, privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure are not further disclosed, except as permitted by state and federal law. [2017 c.441 §5]

Note: See note under 443.380 (Definitions for ORS 443.380 to 443.394).

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 443—Residential Care; Adult Foster Homes; Hospice Programs, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors443.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.