Congress requested a study in 1986 to be conducted by the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that some nursing homes have abused, neglected, and provided inadequate care to residents all over the U.S. The findings of the study supported a proposal suggesting the need for significant reforms within senior living facilities. The following year, a majority of the proposals from that study would become integrated into law when the Nursing Home Reform Act was passed.
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was intended to guarantee that residents of nursing homes be provided care that will result in their achieving or maintaining their “highest practicable” well-being. This legislation specifies which services nursing homes must give residents and establishes standards for how these services are to be implemented. You should know that the Nursing Home Reform Act seeks to achieve this outcome by establishing a Residents’ Bill of Rights.
By Law, Nursing Homes Must Provide the Highest Practicable Care
Under the Resident’s Bill of Rights, nursing home residents are entitled to:
- Freedom from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment
- Freedom from physical restraint
- Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, social needs
- Participate in resident and family groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Exercise self determination
- Communicate freely
- Be fully informed of their treatment plan
- Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
The act also requires senior living facilities to establish and fulfill resident care plans by providing or arranging for residents to receive all required nursing, pharmaceutical, dietary, and mental health services that they require. The law mandates that nursing homes meet specified criteria to actively participate in the Medical Assistance Program and the Medicare program, including adequate staffing.
Nursing homes receive Medicaid and Medicare payments for long-term care of residents only if they are certified by their state to be in substantial compliance with the requirements of the Nursing Home Reform Act.
If you suspect that you or a family member has been subject to living in a senior living facility that has provided substandard care, you may be entitled to compensation.
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, residents are entitled to receive the benefit of many social services, such as:
- Regular assessments for each resident
- Comprehensive care plans for all residents
- Nursing services
- Social services
- Rehabilitation services
- Pharmaceutical services
- Dietary services
- A social worker (for facilities with 120 beds or more)
Many residents may not be aware that they were entitled to this standard of care in the facility in which they reside. Research shows that many nursing homes fall well below the established minimum standards and violate this federal law. These standards were put in place to avoid preventable injuries to residents of senior living facilities.
We Can Help Protect Your Family from Nursing Home Abuse
Once you decide to let us represent you, we will notify the authorities of the abuse and conduct an investigation into the nursing home practices and the individuals involved. We will also work to support your claim in the following ways:
- Investigate and bring those who have violated the Nursing Home Reform Act to justice.
- Depose nursing home staff and residents.
- Procure testimony from medical professionals who specialize in determining causation of injuries.
- Bargain for a financial settlement to cover your treatment expenses and other losses.
- Bring a lawsuit in a court of law.
Our elder abuse advocates specialize in obtaining justice and compensation for victims of nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one were injured by a nursing facility who violated the Nursing Home Reform Act or a similar law and caused your injury, we would like to discuss your options with you as soon as possible. So, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today (800) 201-3999 for a free case review.