A 1986 study by the Institute of Medicine to evaluate the quality of care in nursing homes in the U.S. in the Medicare and Medicaid systems found that residents were often inadequately cared for, neglected and abused. In response, many of the Institute’s proposals for reform became law, including the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA).
In addition to the NHRA, most states also regulate these facilities, and if funded by Medicare or Medicaid, there are also federal regulations that will apply.
Passed in 1987, the NHRA gives nursing home residents a set of “Residents’ Rights” to promote quality of life and ensure that their dignity, safety, privacy, medical and personal interests are respected by the nursing home they reside in. Residents’ quality of life should never decrease as a result of the care provided by the nursing home facility. Contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney if you believe you or your loved one rights are being abused.
Established Nursing Home Resident Rights
These rights include the right to be fully informed of the facility’s services, plans and rules; the right to complain of any grievance; the right to be included in one’s own care; the right to confidentiality; the right to respect and dignity; the right to personal freedom and the right to visits. More specifically, these rights cover:
- Privacy in their health and personal care
- Accommodation of mental, physical, psychosocial needs
- Communicate freely and privately via phone calls, email, or written communications
- Be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness
- Be free from mental and physical neglect, abuse and mistreatment
- Exercise self-determination
- Voice grievances without reprisal or discrimination
- Be free from physical restraints
- Participate in and organize groups, including social and religious activities
- Review one’s own care plan and medical record. Be given advance notice of changes in treatment or care. This includes choosing one’s own physician and the right to refuse treatment
- Manage one’s own finances and the right to a quarterly account of activity if the facility has been given responsibility in writing
- Be informed, both orally and in writing, of services available. This includes medical treatments and therapy
- Established visiting hours and the right to privacy during these visits. If the resident is critically ill, visitors can be allowed at any time
- The right to see the results of inspections of the facility
- Prior notification of room or roommate changes and 30-day notice of relocation, as well as the right to challenge this notice
- Transferred or discharged only for nonpayment, the safety of others, or medical reasons
West Palm Beach Nursing Home Residents Services
In addition, the NHRA requires nursing home to give its residents access to the following services:
- Nursing, social, and rehabilitation services
- Dietary and pharmaceutical services
- Regular assessments
- A specific care plan developed for each resident
- Access to a social worker if the facility has 120 beds or more
If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from a type of abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home, do not hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can hold those negligent accountable for their actions.