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BANKRUPTCY · UNITED STATES CODE
Subchapter II. Officers
USC § 333. Appointment of patient care ombudsman
(1) If the debtor in a case under chapter
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.
(A) If the court orders the appointment of an ombudsman under paragraph
(1), the United States trustee shall appoint 1 disinterested person (other
than the United States trustee) to serve as such ombudsman.
(B) If the debtor is a health care business that provides long-term
care, then the United States trustee may appoint the State Long-Term Care
Ombudsman appointed under the Older Americans Act of 1965 for the State in
which the case is pending to serve as the ombudsman required by paragraph
(C) If the United States trustee does not appoint a State Long-Term
Care Ombudsman under subparagraph (B), the court shall notify the State
Long-Term Care Ombudsman appointed under the Older Americans Act of 1965
for the State in which the case is pending, of the name and address of the
person who is appointed under subparagraph (A).
(b) An ombudsman appointed under subsection (a) shall--
(1) monitor the quality of patient care provided to patients of the
debtor, to the extent necessary under the circumstances, including
interviewing patients and physicians;
(2) not later than 60 days after the date of appointment, and not less
frequently than at 60-day intervals thereafter, report to the court after
notice to the parties in interest, at a hearing or in writing, regarding the
quality of patient care provided to patients of the debtor; and
(3) if such ombudsman determines that the quality of patient care
provided to patients of the debtor is declining significantly or is
otherwise being materially compromised, file with the court a motion or a
written report, with notice to the parties in interest immediately upon
making such determination.
(1) An ombudsman appointed under subsection (a) shall maintain any
information obtained by such ombudsman under this section that relates to
patients (including information relating to patient records) as confidential
information. Such ombudsman may not review confidential patient records
unless the court approves such review in advance and imposes restrictions on
such ombudsman to protect the confidentiality of such records.
(2) An ombudsman appointed under subsection (a)(2)(B) shall have access
to patient records consistent with authority of such ombudsman under the
Older Americans Act of 1965 and under non-Federal laws governing the State
Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.