What You Should Know About Nursing Homes
Making the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is not an easy one. In fact, it is probably one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make for your loved one. Often, the decision must be made at a time of crisis, and as a result, the decision may need to be done quickly.
There are approximately 15,600 nursing homes (NH) in the U.S. which participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and serve as a home for an estimated 1.4 million of America’s most vulnerable and infirm citizens. As of 2015, approximately 68% of NHs were owned by for-profit corporations, while 24% were run by nonprofit organizations, and the remaining NHs were government-owned.
NH regulations are complicated. The federal government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) fashion the regulations and guidelines for NHs in the U.S. However, the enforcement of those regulations and guidelines is left to the individual states. Each state is required to conduct unannounced inspections of every facility and is subject to CMS approval. (AARP)
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) was established to ensure that NH residents receive the “highest practicable” mental, physical, and psychosocial care. The NHRA enforces quality care and the provision of certain services to nursing home residents. At a minimum, federal law states
that a nursing home must protect and promote the rights of each resident.
The nursing home must list and give all new residents a copy of these rights which include, but are not limited to:
to be as independent as possible.
Did you know that NHs cannot limit visiting hours? Under federal law you have the right to visit your loved one any time, day or night. Additionally, a NH cannot discharge your loved one to another facility because he/she is difficult to deal with.
Must Ask Questions (This is not an exhaustive list.)
BE SURE TO READ THE FINE PRINT. One of the papers you will most likely be signing upon admission is an agreement regarding arbitration. Arbitration agreements do not allow you to file a lawsuit, and any claims you may have will be handled by an arbitrator. Once you sign on the dotted line, you may be giving give up the right to sue the NH, even if you have a claim for wrongful death. Review all the print in a contract before choosing a nursing home.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact our office immediately. At Rosensteel Fleishman we will aggressively advocate for you and your family and get the justice your loved one deserves. Please call our office at 704-714-1450 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We will schedule an appointment which meets your needs. There is no fee for the initial consultation.