Nursing Home Resident Rights
When your loved one entered a nursing home, they did not give up their rights. In fact, the rights of residents are expansive and protected by both state and federal law. Nursing homes that violate these protective laws can suffer harsh penalties ranging from lost funding and penalty fees, to closure of the facility. Additionally, nursing facilities that violate patient rights can be subject to liability in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
The Nursing Home Reform Act
One of the most important nursing home regulations is the Nursing Home Reform Act. Passed by Congress in 1987, the Act was designed to address nursing home abuse and neglect by making both a federal crime. Nursing homes that fail to meet the Act’s minimum standards of care risk losing their eligibility to receive federal funding in the form of Medicaid and Medicare.
To protect your loved one, the Act includes a Residents’ Bill of Rights that:
- Safeguards nursing home patients from abuse and neglect
- Ensures each resident receives proper medical care
- Protects privacy and confidentiality
- Preserves the dignity of each resident
Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights
At the Deuterman Law Group, we believe it’s important to know your rights. Here is a summary of what every nursing home patient is legally entitled to:
- Right to review and be informed of their care plan, including having access to all records and information about his or her medical treatment, as well as the ability to refuse treatment and be notified of changes in their treatment plan
- Right to choose their attending physician
- Right to privacy and confidentiality
- Right to express grievances without discrimination or reprisal
- Right to have access to others, from both fellow residents and visitors
- Right to have access to telephone
- Right to be free from physical or chemical restraints
- Right to be free from verbal, sexual, mental abuse and free from corporal punishment and involuntary isolation
What to do if a patient’s rights are violated
If you suspect that the rights of your loved one have been violated, it’s important to act quickly. We urge you to call and speak to an attorney at the Deuterman Law Group for immediate guidance on how to proceed. But if the violation is criminal or results in a medical emergency, don’t delay: call 911 or contact your local police department right away. Other options include filing a complaint with the North Carolina Survey Agency and moving your loved one to a different nursing home.
One of our experienced nursing home neglect attorneys can help your family pursue justice against negligent nursing homes. Nursing homes that abuse or neglect residents are liable for their actions and can be held accountable by a lawsuit. While no legal action can undo the neglect or abuse your loved one suffered, a successful nursing home negligence lawsuit can offer financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other damages.