March 28, 2016
I am a Nursing Home Resident – What Legal Rights Do I Have?
Federal guidelines require each nursing facility to develop and implement written policies and procedures prohibiting mistreatment, neglect, or abuse of residents. A resident in such a nursing facility is entitled to receive verbal and written notice of the rights and services to which he or she is entitled during their stay in the facility.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of the rights residents of nursing homes have. However, as always, if you suspect that someone is being harmed in a nursing home, it is critical to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
- Nursing home residents have the right to see family members, ombudspersons or other resident advocates, physicians, service providers, and representatives of the state and federal government.
- Residents may keep and use their personal possessions and clothing unless doing so would endanger health and safety.
- Residents have the right to apply for and receive Medicare and Medicaid benefits and cannot be asked to leave a home because they receive such benefits.
- A nursing home must treat all individuals the same, regardless of whether they are private payers or Medicare or Medicaid recipients.
- Residents have the right to keep their clinical and personal records confidential.
- Residents are entitled to lists of what services are paid by Medicare and Medicaid and the additional services for which the residents will be charged, plus the fees for those services.
- Nursing home residents have the right to choose their own personal physician.
- Residents have the right to be fully informed about their medical care.
- Residents have the right to participate in the planning of their care and treatment.
- Nursing home residents have the right to refuse treatment.
- Residents have the right to be free from mental and physical abuse.
- Nursing home residents cannot be kept apart from other residents against their will.
- Residents cannot be tied down or given drugs to restrain them if restraint is not necessary to treat their medical symptoms.
- Residents have the right to raise grievances and have them resolved quickly.
- Residents may participate in social, religious, and community activities to the extent that they do not interfere with the rights of other residents.
- Residents cannot be required to deposit their personal funds with the nursing home, and if they request that the home manage their funds, the home must do so according to state and federal record-keeping requirements.
- Residents have the right to privacy, including in their rooms, medical treatment, communications, visits, and meetings with family and resident groups.
- Residents have the right to review their medical records within twenty-four hours of making a request.
- Nursing home residents have the right to review the most recent state inspection report relating to the home.
- Residents must be given notice before their room or roommate is changed, and residents can refuse the transfer if the purpose is to move them from a Medicare bed to a Medicaid bed or vice versa.
- Residents have the right to stay in the nursing home and can only be removed if it is necessary for the resident’s welfare, the resident no longer needs the facility’s services, it is necessary to prevent harm to the health or safety of others in the facility, the resident fails to pay after reasonable notice, or the facility ceases to operate.
- Residents must be informed of their rights upon admission, and must be given their rights in writing if so requested.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at The Levin Firm understand that nursing home abuse cases require a team of lawyers, nurses and others trained to review the facts of these cases, including medical records.
At The Levin Firm, our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nursing home abuse personal injury lawyers aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results. We also work with highly-regarded nursing home abuse experts to determine the type of nursing home abuse and how and why it happened. At times, we will work with other law firms that have particular expertise to assure that our clients receive the most thorough and zealous representation.
We represent every client zealously in order to obtain the best results possible in each case.