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Nursing Home Bill of Rights

By: Attorney Thomas R. Smith

If you are the loved one or primary caregiver to someone who is in a nursing home, you should be aware that there are regulations established by the government that protect those in nursing homes from abuse and negligence called the Nursing Home Bill of Rights. We have published the Bill of Rights below for your information. Be aware that some of the provisions relate directly to the guardians and not just the patients and provide for things like notice to the family member or guardian regarding the patient's health or change in condition.

If you are interested in this and do not understand how exactly it may apply to you or a loved one, please contact a nursing home negligence attorney to discuss your nursing home negligence case free of charge. Moreover, if you feel that your loved one who is a patient in a nursing home may be being mistreated or not cared for properly and you are unsure, please contact a nursing home abuse attorney. Consultations are free and even if a case is taken it is done so on a contingency fee basis meaning the firm will only a receive a fee if we receive a recovery on behalf of your loved one or his or her estate.

30:13-5 Rights of Resident

 

Every resident of a nursing home shall:

a.             Have the right to manage his own financial affairs unless he or his guardian authorizes the administrator of the nursing home to manage such resident's financial affairs. Such authorization shall be in writing and shall be attested by a witness that is unconnected with the nursing home, its operations, its staff personnel and the administrator thereof, in any manner whatsoever.

b.             Have the right to wear his own clothing. If clothing is provided to the resident by the nursing home, it shall be of a proper fit.

c.             Have the right to retain and use his personal property in his immediate living quarters, unless the nursing home can demonstrate that it is unsafe or impractical to do so.

d.             Have the right to receive and send unopened correspondence and, upon request, to obtain assistance in the reading and writing of such correspondence.

e.             Have the right to unaccompanied access to a telephone at a reasonable hour, including the right to a private phone at the resident's expense.

f.              Have the right to privacy.

g.             Have the right to retain the services of his own personal physician at his own expense or under a health care plan. Every resident shall have the right to obtain from his own physician or the physician attached to the nursing home complete and current information concerning his medical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in terms and language the resident can reasonably be expected to understand, except when the physician deems it medically inadvisable to give such information to the resident and records the reason for such decision in the resident's medical record. In such a case, the physician shall inform the resident's next-of-kin or guardian.

The resident shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning of his total care and medical treatment to the extent that his condition permits. A resident shall have the right to refuse treatment. A resident shall have the right to refuse to participate in experimental research, but if he co-chooses to participate, his informed written consent must be obtained. Every resident shall have the right to confidentiality and privacy concerning his medical condition and treatment, except that records concerning said medical condition and treatment may be disclosed to another nursing home or health care facility on transfer, or as required by law or third-party payment contracts.

h.             Have the right to unrestricted communication, including personal visitation with any persons of his choice, at any reasonable hour.

i.              Have the right to present grievances on behalf of himself or others to the nursing home administrator, State governmental agencies or other persons without threat of discharge or reprisal in any form or manner whatsoever. The administrator shall provide all residents or their guardians with the name, address, and telephone number of the appropriate State governmental office where complaints may be lodged. Such telephone number shall be posted in a conspicuous place near every public telephone in the nursing home.

j.              Have the right to a safe and decent living environment and

considerate and respectful care that recognizes the dignity and individuality of the resident, including the right to expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of that person's care consistent with sound nursing and medical practices.

k.             Have the right to refuse to perform services for the nursing home that are not included for therapeutic purposes in his plan of care as recorded in his medical record by his physician.

l.              Have the right to reasonable opportunity for interaction with members of the opposite sex. If married, the resident shall enjoy reasonable privacy in visits by his spouse, and if both are residents of the nursing home, they shall be afforded the opportunity where feasible, to share a room unless medically inadvisable.

m.            Not be deprived of any constitutional, civil or legal right solely by reason of admission to a nursing home.

n.             Have the right to receive, upon request, food that meets the resident's religious dietary requirements, provided that the request is made prior to or upon admission to the nursing home, and if the resident is not a Medicaid recipient, that the resident agrees to assume any additional cost incurred by the nursing home in order to meet those dietary requirements.

If the resident is a Medicaid recipient upon admission, or becomes eligible for Medicaid after admission, the nursing home shall include the cost of the religious dietary requirements in its Medicaid cost report for consideration under applicable reimbursement processes. As used in this section, "Medicaid" means the Medicaid program established pursuant to P.L.1968, c.

413 (D.30:4D-1 et seq.).

Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman has experience in litigating nursing home negligence cases. Our nursing home abuse attorneys will consult with you free and even if a case is taken it is done so on a contingency fee basis. For more information, contact Thomas Smith at (609) 520-0900.

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