Nursing Home Patients' Rights According to Medicare
Are you concerned about the way a loved one has been treated in a nursing home? Know that certain treatment may actually be illegal. Nursing homes that are certified by Medicare or Medicaid must meet certain standards of care. Both federal and state laws spell out the rights of patients in nursing homes. It’s important to be aware of your loved one’s legal rights.
If you ever suspect a nursing home is breaking the law, you should talk to a nursing home attorney to find out what you can do.
Rights of Nursing Home Patients
Nursing home residents have a legal right to:
- Be admitted to a nursing home without discrimination due to race, religion, national origin, color, disability or age.
- Make their own decisions.
- Keep personal information private and hold private visits, phone calls, and mail.
- Be kept fully informed about their medical condition and care.
- Not be restrained with medication or with physical restraints for the convenience of the staff.
- Not be isolated against their will.
- Not be neglected.
- Not be abused.
- Be told about their rights in writing.
These are just some of the rights afforded to nursing home residents. These laws are meant to ensure that nursing home residents are treated with dignity and respect, are receiving proper medical care and are never being abused or neglected.
Family Members Have Rights Too
If you are the legal representative or an interested family member of a nursing home resident, you have legal rights too. If the nursing home knows about your relationship to their resident, they must notify you if your loved one:
- Was in an accident.
- Has medical complications.
- Is getting physically or mentally worse.
- Needs significant changes in treatment.
- Has a life-threatening condition.
The nursing home must also notify you and your loved one in writing if they want to discharge or transfer your loved one. The notice must be given 30 days in advance. Discharges and transfers are only legal if they are done for a limited number of reasons.
Nursing Home Attorneys Helping You and Your Loved Ones
You and your loved one have the right to complain to nursing home supervisors and administrators about any problems your loved one is experiencing. Nursing homes are not allowed to retaliate because you spoke up about an issue. If speaking to someone at the nursing home does not resolve the problem, talk to an experienced nursing home attorney. Contact Garcia & Artigliere for a free consultation.