Approximately 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care services in their lifetime with 40 percent needing care in a nursing home. If you find yourself, or someone you love, in need of long-term care, it is important to also understand the rules and regulations that apply to LTC facilities. To get you started, a Carmel elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft explains long-term care transfer and eviction rules you need to know..
Your Federal and State Long-Term Care Facility Rights
Nursing homes are governedby both federal and state laws. Among the most important of those is thefederal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law (NHRL). The NHRL guarantees nursing homeresidents a number of important rights and requires nursing homes to “promoteand protect the rights of each resident.” Specifically, as a nursing homeresident, you have:
- The right tofreedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
- The right tofreedom from physical restraints;
- The right toprivacy;
- The right toaccommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
- The right toparticipate in resident and family groups;
- The right to betreated with dignity;
- The right toexercise self-determination;
- The right tocommunicate freely;
- The right toparticipate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed inadvance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in thefacility; and
- The right tovoice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
If a nursing homes wishes to participate in the Medicare and/or Medicaid program – programs that pay the bill for over half of all current nursing home residents – a facility must meet federal residents’ rights requirements. Most states, including North Dakota, also have state level laws that protect nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform Law delineates very specific reasons why a nursing home resident may be evicted, including:
- The discharge isnecessary for the resident’s welfare and his or her needs cannot be met in thefacility.
- The resident’shealth has improved and no longer needs the facility’s services.
- The resident isendangering the safety of others.
- The resident isendangering the health of others.
- The resident hasfailed to pay for (or to have paid under Medicare or Medicaid) a stay at thefacility.
- The facilityceases to operate.
Indiana Long-Term Care Facility Rights
In addition to your rightsunder the NHRL, the State of Indiana also provides nursing home residents withrights with regard to transfer or discharge from the facility. According to theIndiana State Department of Health, if you are a resident of a long-term carefacility, the facility must permit you to remain in the facility and nottransfer or discharge you unless:
- It is necessaryfor your welfare and your needs cannot be met in the facility.
- Your health hasimproved sufficiently so you no longer need the services provided by thefacility.
- The safety of individualsin the facility is endangered due to your clinical or behavioral status.
- The health ofother individuals in the facility is endangered.
- You fail, afterreasonable and appropriate notice, to pay for (or to have paid under Medicareor Medicaid) a stay at the facility.
- The facilityceases to operate.
You have the right to refuseto transfer to another room in the facility if the purpose of the transfer isto relocate a resident of a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) from the distinctpart of the institution that is a SNF to a part of the institution that is nota SNF or to relocate a resident of a Nursing Facility (NF) from the distinctpart of the institution that is a NF to a distinct part of the institution thatis a SNF, solely for the convenience of staff.
Furthermore, the facilitymust provide written information regarding their policy about bed holds andreturn to the facility. The facility must provide you with written noticebefore you are to be transferred or discharged from the facility and includehow you can appeal decisions to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Contact Carmel Elder Law Attorney
For more information, please join us for a FREE upcoming seminar.If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights as a resident ofa long-term care facility, contact anexperienced Carmel elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule anappointment.
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