Ombudsman Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman is an independent, neutral and confidential resource for anyone with health care, customer service or human resource concerns involving:

  • Aegis Treatment Centers, LLC.
  • Nationwide Medical Group, Inc.
  • Aegis Institute, Inc.
  • Aegis Management Systems

What is the primary objective of the Ombudsman?

  • Handling inquires and concerns
  • Listening to complaints
  • Resolution of conflicts
  • Education of clients, patients, employees and the community

Who can the Aegis Ombudsman help?

Ombudsman services are independent and available to all parties. Clients, patients, employees, private citizens, advocacy groups, corporations, as well as federal/state/local government agencies may use the service.

What criteria’s must be met to receive assistance from the Ombudsman?

  • You must make an inquiry; has a complaint or concerns about customer service, provision of health care, patient rights or safety.
  • A belief that prior written complaints were not investigated or did not receive an effective response.
  • All formal or regular resources of resolution have been exhausted

When is it appropriate to use the Ombudsman?

  • After you have exhausted all routine grievance procedures, you should submit your complaint/concern to the Ombudsman as detailed in the Ombudsman Policies, Protocols & Procedures.
  • The Ombudsman can be called upon to impartially research, mediate and assist in areas where the system has failed. The Ombudsman will not take a role of advocate for Aegis or the patient, but will advocate for problem resolution.
  • The Ombudsman can be approached for inquiries; concerning questions one may have had and was unable to get a satisfactory reply from Aegis staff members.

What are the steps to Conflict Resolution?

Research:
  • The Ombudsman will look into complaints about Aegis staff members, policies or facility related issues.
  • The Ombudsman will respond to inquiries and questions concerning activities, purposes or policies.

Facilitate / Mediate:
  • The Ombudsman will assist in formulating a plan to more easily resolve conflicts and complaints.
  • Conflict resolution will be accomplished by using supportive, effective listening skills to identify options, providing general information, and collaborating with other resources that can provide assistance.

Remedies / Policies:
  • Effectively communicate with Aegis managers and all parties on related issues
  • Identify and recommend changes if needed
  • Analyze trends

What are Documentation Procedures?

All records are confidential and are not accessible to agencies outside the Ombudsman office without express written permission from the patient, client, employee or any other person seeking assistance. Periodic reporting is statistical only and does not contain identifying information.

What are Confidentiality / Neutrality?

The Ombudsman is firmly committed to protecting your confidentiality. We must obtain certain personal information in order to assist you. We also require each party to sign a confidentiality agreement with specific release authorizations. Your identity will only be shared by your express written permission.

If the matter results in a formal proceeding, you cannot request the Ombudsman or the office staff to testify in the action taken. The Ombudsman confidentiality and neutrality mandates are absolute and non-negotiable. The right to disclose information when requested to do so by the patient, client or others utilizing the services of the Ombudsman belongs to the Ombudsman and cannot be overridden.

What are Ombudsman Limitations?

The Ombudsman DOES NOT:

  • Give legal advice
  • Provide psychological counseling
  • Make decisions on issues
  • Provide medical advice
  • Represent Aegis or the client in formal hearings or proceedings

How are reports generated by the Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman is contracted by Aegis to be objective and neutral. The Ombudsman is required to send periodic reports to Aegis that are strictly demographic and aggregated, with no personal identifying information.

These reports are utilized to improve the quality of patient care and to rectify problems with internal changes to policies and procedures while preserving confidentiality.