Caregiver Blog, News Feeds, Video Feeds, Useful Links

Friday, June 13, 2008

RE: Nursing Home Reform Amendments of OBRA, Residents "Know Your Rights, " Guest Post by Matt Raven

Know your rights” is important for residents of nursing homes. The Nursing Home Reform Amendments of OBRA were implemented in early 1987. According to the for the people website, the act mandated that nursing homes “promote and protect the rights of each resident.”

The law aims at doing a number of things, but here are the general rights of residents:

1) Right to Self-Determination

Residents have the right to:
-select their own doctor.
-have access and involvement in all medical decisions.
-receive personalized services at the facility based on individual requirements.

2) Personal and Privacy Rights

Residents have the right to:
-partake in social, religious, and community events as they see fit.
-confidentiality of personal and medical documents.

3) Rights Regarding Abuse and Restraints

Residents have the right to:
- be liberated of any physical or psychological maltreatment, corporal punishment, solitary confinement, or use of restraints as punishment.
- be restrained under a doctor’s strict orders for the purpose of treating medical symptoms and guaranteeing the resident’s safety while protecting others.

4) Rights to Information

Nursing homes are obligated to:
-Provide, upon request, residents with up-to-date inspection results and any measures the facility plans to take to improve existing conditions.
-Advise residents ahead of time about any preparation to alter their rooms or swap roommates.
-Notify residents of their rights when they initially move in to the nursing home, providing them with a written version of the rights.
-Discuss how to take advantage of Medicaid benefits with residents.

5) Rights to Visits

Nursing homes are obligated to:
- To allow urgent visits by a resident’s primary care physician in addition to representatives from the licensing agency and ombudsman program.
- To allow urgent visits by a resident’s family providing the resident gives permission.

6) Rights of Transfer and Discharge

Nursing homes may not transfer or discharge residents unless:
- The transfer or discharge is essential for the well-being of the resident, and the current facility is incapable of providing that level of care.
- The health and security of fellow residents is compromised.
- The resident’s general health has reached a point that they no longer require the extent of care that a nursing home can offer.

7) Protection of Personal Funds

A nursing home must never force residents to let the facility hold their money.

8) Protection Against Medicaid Discrimination

A nursing home must:
- Implement and abide by policies identical to other nursing homes in terms of transfer, discharge, and how services covered by Medicaid will be provided.
- Not force residents to surrender their right to Medicaid coverage and must provide information relevant to the Medicaid application process.

These basic rights should be implemented in every nursing home nation wide. If you have an experience where you feel like your rights have been abridged in a nursing home situation, please contact a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in the field.

No comments: